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Proceedings Paper

The origins of life and the mechanisms of biological evolution
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Paper Abstract

Evolution is usually taught as the result of mutations and genetic recombinations combined with natural selection, but most living forms have symbiotic relationships with microorganisms, and in this sense symbiogenesis seems to play a very important role in the origin and life evolution. Symbiosis is an important support for the acquisition of new genomes and new metabolic capacities, which drives living forms' evolution. In this sense, the evolutionary changes can be explained by an integrated cooperation between organisms, in which symbiosis acts, not as an exception, but rather as the rule in nature. Beginning with the eukaryotic cell formation, symbiogenesis appears to be the main evolutionary mechanism in the establishment and maintenance of biomes, as well as the foundation of biodiversity, based on rather suddenly evolutionary novelty, which challenges the Darwinian gradualism. These principles can be applied to the life on Earth and beyond.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2006
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 6309, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IX, 63090O (14 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681946
Show Author Affiliations
Francisco Carrapiço, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6309:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IX
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Y. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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