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Mechanism for photosynthesis found in primeval, non-photosynthetic microbe

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Calvin cycle in Methanospirillum hungatei/Kobe University

From ScienceDaily:

A Japanese research team has discovered an evolutionary model for the biological function that creates carbon dioxide from glucose in photosynthesis. They found the mechanism in a primitive, non-photosynthesizing microbe.

By clarifying part of the primitive metabolic pathway for photosynthesis, these findings could help to reveal how the photosynthesis system formed during evolution, a mystery that scientists have so far been unable to solve. – Paper. (public access) Takunari Kono, Sandhya Mehrotra, Chikako Endo, Natsuko Kizu, Mami Matusda, Hiroyuki Kimura, Eiichi Mizohata, Tsuyoshi Inoue, Tomohisa Hasunuma, Akiho Yokota, Hiroyoshi Matsumura, Hiroki Ashida. A RuBisCO-mediated carbon metabolic pathway in methanogenic archaea. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 14007 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14007More.

Wait a minute. We’ve just learned that the mechanism existed before photosynthesis started. So what precisely does the second paragraph mean? It certainly does not mean that we are allowed to hear openly why a Darwinian model (natural selection acting on random mutation) cannot be correct?

More likely, all finds that might help us understand the history of life must be phrased as Darwinblather—even if what the finds imply is directly contrary to canonical Darwin.

So what kind of evolution should the rest of us call the pre-existence of needed traits? We’re not allowed to say “design,” right?

See also: Photosynthesis from 3.8 billion years ago

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3 Replies to “Mechanism for photosynthesis found in primeval, non-photosynthetic microbe

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    We’re not allowed to say “design,” right?

    Exactly right. Only ignorant anti-science folks who don’t know any biology and don’t understand evolution (whatever it means) say that word.

    🙂

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Now it’s clear how what was already there eventually evolved:

    Whether the RHP pathway allows for autotrophy, that is, growth exclusively with CO2 as carbon source, is unknown at present.

    […] the energetics of the RHP pathway in methanogenic archaea under ecological conditions remains to be addressed further.

    […] a metabolomic analysis system specific for metabolites produced by these pathways will need to be established.

    Many methanogenic archaea contain conserved genes for enzymes in the RHP pathway, including RuBisCO and PRK […]

    These archaea also have conserved genes for methanogenesis […]

    We speculate that the photosynthetic Calvin–Benson cycle may have originated from a primitive carbon metabolic pathway utilizing RuBisCO, such as the archaeal RHP pathway, by replacement of some steps without release of carbon.

    A RuBisCO-mediated carbon metabolic pathway in methanogenic archaea
    Takunari Kono, Sandhya Mehrotra, Chikako Endo, Natsuko Kizu, Mami Matusda, Hiroyuki Kimura, Eiichi Mizohata, Tsuyoshi Inoue, Tomohisa Hasunuma, Akiho Yokota, Hiroyoshi Matsumura & Hiroki Ashida
    Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14007 (2017)
    doi:10.1038/ncomms14007

    [emphasis added]

    Did somebody say ‘speculate’? 🙂

    Work in progress… stay tuned. 🙂

    Complex complexity.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    “Here we demonstrate the existence in methanogenic archaea of a carbon metabolic pathway involving RuBisCO and PRK, which we term ‘reductive hexulose-phosphate’ (RHP) pathway.”

    Whether the RHP pathway allows for autotrophy (that is, growth exclusively with CO2 as carbon source) remains unknown.

    A RuBisCO-mediated carbon metabolic pathway in methanogenic archaea
    Takunari Kono, Sandhya Mehrotra, Chikako Endo, Natsuko Kizu, Mami Matusda, Hiroyuki Kimura, Eiichi Mizohata, Tsuyoshi Inoue, Tomohisa Hasunuma, Akiho Yokota, Hiroyoshi Matsumura & Hiroki Ashida
    Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14007 (2017)
    doi:10.1038/ncomms14007

    Still didn’t understand how they got the RHP pathway to begin with. Have to read it again.

    Can someone point at that information for me?
    Thank you.

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