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Proceedings Paper

Symbiogenesis and the early evolution of life
Author(s): Francisco Carrapico; Telma Rodrigues
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Paper Abstract

The concept of symbiogenesis was introduced in 1909 by the Russian biologist Constantin Merezhkowsky as "the origin of organisms by the combination or by the association of two or several beings which enter into symbiosis". In this article we develop this idea, associated to the Freeman Dyson's hypothesis, applied to the early evolutive stages of life, considering that it could be a possible main rule in the appearance and development of life conditions on Earth and elsewhere. A cooperative, synergistic strategy should be considered as having been the determinant in the development of the survival of the fittest, especially under extremely adverse environmental conditions. This concept must be also applied to the first communities of cells as the base supporting evolution of the early "tree of life". Cells, like we have previously described, can be included in a new cellular concept entitled, "symbiocell", since survival of the community under such adverse conditions required a cooperative, synergistic strategy. Similar principles could also be used to understand chemical pre-biotic evolution. We believe that astrobiologists should consider it as a new approach to understand organic and biological evolution.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 2005
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 5906, Astrobiology and Planetary Missions, 59060R (22 September 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617564
Show Author Affiliations
Francisco Carrapico, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)
Telma Rodrigues, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5906:
Astrobiology and Planetary Missions
Richard B. Hoover; G. Randall Gladstone; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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