Late-1990s developments in the study of thermophiles have had considerable significance on theories of evolution. These micro-organisms are able to thrive at temperatures near or even above 100 degrees Celsius, and scientists have begun to study their biology in an attempt to provide clues about the beginnings of life on our planet.
Researchers from diverse background such as biology, genetics, biogeochemistry, oceanography, systematics and evolution come together in this comprehensive volume to address questions such as: Why did life originate? Was the Earth at high temperatures when life began, and if so, how high? What can we conclude about the origins of life from studying thermophilic organisms?
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Early Earth; 1. Do the Geological and Geochemical Records of the Early Earth Support the Prediction From Global Phylogenetic Models of Thermophilic Cenancestor? John A. Baross 2. The Early Diversification of Life and the Origin of the Three Domains: A Proposal Otto Kandler 3. Life was Thermophilic for the First Two-thirds of Earth History David W. Schwartzman Part 2 The Origin of Life; 4. The Case for a Hyperthermophilic, Chemolithoautotrophic Origin of Life in an Iron-Sulphur World Günter Wächterhäuser 5. The Emergence of Metabolism From Within Hydrothermal Systems Everett L. Shock, Tom McCollom and Mitchell D. Schulte 6. The Emergence of Life From FeS Bubbles at Alkaline Hot Springs in an Acid Ocean Michael J. Russell, Dan E. Daia and Allan J. Hall 7. Facing up to Chemical Realities: Life Did Not Begin at the Growth Temperatures of Hyperthermophiles Stanley L. Miller and Antonio Lazcano Part 3 Nucleic Acid-based Phylogenies; 8. Were our Ancestors Actually Hyperthermophiles? Viewpoint of a Devil's Advocate Patrick Forterre 9. Hyperthermophilic and Mesophilic Origins of the Eukaryotic Genome James A. Lake, Ravi Jain, Jonathan Moore and Maria C. Rivera Part 4 Gene Exchange and Evolution; 10. Deciphering the Molecular Record for the Early Evolution of Life: Gene Duplication and Horizontal Gene Transfer Lorraine Olendzenski and J. Peter Gogarten 11. Lateral Gene Exchange, an Evolutionary Mechanism for Extending the Upper or Lower Temperature Limits for Growth of Microorganisms? A Hypothesis Juergen Wiegel 12. Evidence in Anaerobic Fungi of Transfer of Genes Between Them from Aerobic Fungi, Bacteria and Animal Hosts Lars G. Ljungdahl, Xin-Liang Li and Huizhong Chen Part 5 Enzyme-based Phylogenies; 13. DNA Topoisomerases, Temperature Adaptation, and Early Diversification of Life Purificación López-García 14. Aminoacyl-tRNA Syntetases: Evolution of a Troubled Family James R. Brown 15. The Evolutionary History of Carbamoyltransferases: Insights on the Early Evol
Wiegel, Juergen; Michael, Adams W.W.