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Current Organic Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1385-2728
ISSN (Online): 1875-5348

Calcium in the Early Evolution of Living Systems: A Biohistorical Approach

Author(s): Jozef Kazmierczak, Stephan Kempe and Barbara Kremer

Volume 17, Issue 16, 2013

Page: [1738 - 1750] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/13852728113179990081


The possible role of Ca2+ as a promoter of the major steps in the evolution of early life is reviewed. The existing biological knowledge about the role of calcium in living systems is summarized and compared with the major bio-evolutionary events that occurred during the first three billion years of Earth’s history. It is proposed that secular changes in Ca2+ concentration in the marine realm during the Precambrian were the crucial driving force behind major innovations in the evolution of early life, such as photosynthesis, eukaryogenesis, multicellularity, origin of metazoans, biocalcification and skeletogenesis.

Keywords: Photosynthesis, Eukaryogenesis, multicellularity, Origin of metazoans, Biocalcification, Skeletogenesis, Evolution of early life, Calcium, Alkalinity, Early alkaline ocean.

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