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The rhythm of life on Earth includes several strong themes contributed by Kingdom Fungi. So why are fungi ignored when theorists ponder the origin of life? Casting aside common theories that life originated in an oceanic primeval soup, in a deep, hot place, or even a warm little pond, this is a mycological perspective on the emergence of life on Earth. The author traces the crucial role played by the first biofilms – products of aerosols, storms, volcanic plumes and rainout from a turbulent atmosphere – which formed in volcanic caves 4 billion years ago. Moore describes how these biofilms contributed to the formation of the first prokaryotic cells, and later, unicellular stem eukaryotes, highlighting the role of the fungal grade of organisation in the evolution of higher organisms. Based on the latest research, this is a unique account of the origin of life and its evolutionary diversity to the present day.Read more
- Proposes a new and unique view of the origin and evolution of life on Earth, weaving the evolution of fungi into the evolution of eukaryotes
- Explains the origins of all groups of higher organisms (eukaryotes), showing how the features of present-day fungi can account for the ancestral evolution of the eukaryote grade of evolution
- Emphasises twenty-first-century research in disciplines ranging from astronomy to zoology, providing readers with the most complete and contemporary treatment of the topic
- A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013
Reviews & endorsements
"This wonderful, refreshing take on origins-of-life studies reviews the present state of affairs, including the missing elements of fungal biology. Every biologist in this field needs to read this book. Moore provides a highly intelligent and reasoned assessment of the role of fungal biology in the discussion of the origins and early evolution of life on Earth. Highly recommended."
P. K. Strother, ChoiceSee more reviews
"… pitched at a level where a very wide range of readers should feel rewarded by the many sage views clearly expressed, and the fair-handed discussions of multiple conflicting hypotheses about the subject matter … This volume is particularly recommended to those mycologists who focus on issues of fungal phylogeny."
Richard A. Humber, The Quarterly Review of Biology
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- Date Published: March 2013
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107652774
- length: 236 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 151 x 11 mm
- weight: 0.39kg
- contains: 28 b/w illus. 2 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Learning from life on Earth in the present day
2. Essentials of fungal cell biology
3. First, make a habitat
4. The building blocks of life
5. An extraterrestrial origin of life?
6. Endogenous synthesis of prebiotic organic compounds on the young Earth
7. Cooking the recipe for life
8. 'It's life, Jim…'
9. Coming alive: what happened and where?
10. My name is LUCA
11. Towards eukaryotes
12. Rise of the fungi
13. Emergence of diversity
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