Identification of one of the first multicellular algae thanks to its chlorophyll fossilized for 1 billion years — ScienceDaily


Researchers from the Early Life Traces & Evolution Laboratory (Astrobiology / Faculty of Science) at the University of Liège have discovered the first in-situ evidence of chlorophyll remnants in a billion-year-old multicellular algal microfossil preserved in shales from the Congo Basin. This discovery, which is the subject of a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, has made it possible to unambiguously identify one of the first phototrophic eukaryotic organisms in the fossil record. This research opens up new perspectives in the study of the diversification of eukaryotes within the first ecosystems.

The emergence of photosynthesis is a fundamental step in the evolution of eukaryotes and therefore of life, as it has profoundly modified terrestrial ecosystems. Although molecular clocks (a technique used by biologists to date the temporal distance between two species…

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