Hugenholtz group in study tracking photosynthesis evolution

5 Apr 2017

The ability to generate oxygen through photosynthesis—that helpful service that plants and algae perform, making life possible for humans and animals on Earth—evolved just once, roughly 2.3 billion years ago, in certain types of Cyanobacteria.

This planet-changing biological invention has never been duplicated, as far as anyone can tell. Instead, all the “green” organisms that we know of as oxygen-producers (plants and algae) simply subsumed cyanobacteria as organelles in their cells.

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