When Did Photosynthesis Emerge on Earth?

  title={When Did Photosynthesis Emerge on Earth?},
  author={David J. Des Marais},
Life began early in Earth9s history, but it was the emergence of photosynthesis that allowed its proliferation across the planet, because it freed life from its sole dependence on abiotic chemical sources of reducing power. Des Marais discusses recent geological and molecular biological evidence, such as the paper by Xiong et al., that photosynthesis emerged at least 2,800 million years ago. 
Photosynthesis and early Earth
  • P. Shih
  • Environmental Science
    Current Biology
  • 2015
Early Evolution of Photosynthesis1
An understanding of the origin and evolution of photosynthesis is of substantial interest, as it may help to explain inefficiencies in the solar energy storage process.
Molecular evidence for the evolution of photosynthesis.
Biogeochemistry of Primary Production in the Sea
Evolution of the structure and impact of Earth’s biosphere
Life on Earth has existed for over 3.5 billion years and has caused fundamental changes in Earth’s biogeochemistry. However, the timing and impact of major events in the evolution of the biosphere
Effects of primitive photosynthesis on Earth’s early climate system
The evolution of different forms of photosynthetic life has profoundly altered the activity level of the biosphere, radically reshaping the composition of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere over time.
The Ediacaran Diversification of Organic-walled Microbiota Ocean Life 600 Million Years Ago
The only direct evidence of past life is provided by fossils. Fossils tell us about the evolution of life on Earth and they give us clues concerning ancient environments. The Ediacaran Period (roug
Timescales of Oxygenation Following the Evolution of Oxygenic Photosynthesis
Calculations suggest that oxygenic photosynthesis arose shortly before the rise of oxygen, not hundreds of millions of years before it, because of the multiscale nature of the carbon and oxygen cycles.


Early life on earth
This study is organized around three themes: the origin and early diversification of life during the Archean Eon; the maturation of life and the Earth during the long Proterozoic Eon; and the
The antiquity of oxygenic photosynthesis: evidence from stromatolites in sulphate-deficient Archaean lakes.
  • R. Buick
  • Environmental Science
  • 1992
The Tumbiana Formation, about 2700 million years old, was largely deposited in ephemeral saline lakes, as judged by the unusual evaporite paragenesis of carbonate and halite with no sulfate.
2-Methylhopanoids as biomarkers for cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis
It is shown that 2-methylbacteriohopanepolyols occur in a high proportion of cultured cyanob bacteria and cyanobacterial mats and are abundant in organic-rich sediments as old as 2,500 Myr, which may help constrain the age of the oldest cyanobacteria and the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis.
Evidence for life on Earth before 3,800 million years ago
IT is unknown when life first appeared on Earth. The earliest known microfossils (˜3,500 Myr before present) are structurally complex, and if it is assumed that the associated organisms required a
The Chemical Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans
In this first full-scale attempt to reconstruct the chemical evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, Heinrich Holland assembles data from a wide spectrum of fields to trace the history of the
Chlorobiaceae in Palaeozoic seas revealed by biological markers, isotopes and geology
Biomarker hydrocarbons in oils and sediments have considerable potential for assessing the nature of biological processes in the past, but only a few can be uniquely related to particular organisms.
Towards a natural system of organisms: proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya.
It is proposed that a formal system of organisms be established in which above the level of kingdom there exists a new taxon called a "domain." Life on this planet would be seen as comprising three domains, the Bacteria, the Archaea, and the Eucarya, each containing two or more kingdoms.
Seafloor hydrothermal systems
The discovery of seafloor hydrothermal systems approximately two decades ago has led to a major reassessment of the Earth's thermal and geochemical budgets and has revolutionized our understanding of