TAILIEUCHUNG - The Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation - Andrey Zhuravlev - Chapter 21

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE Molecular Fossils Demonstrate Precambrian Origin of Dinoflagellates The natural product chemistry of modern organisms shows that dinosterols are concentrated in, and are nearly exclusive to, dinoflagellates. | 21-C1099 8 10 00 2 20 PM Page 474 CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE J. Michael Moldowan Stephen R. Jacobson Jeremy Dahl Adnan Al-Hajji Bradley J. Huizinga and Frederick J. Fago Molecular Fossils Demonstrate Precambrian Origin of Dinoflagellates The natural product chemistry of modern organisms shows that dinosterols are concentrated in and are nearly exclusive to dinoflagellates. Saturated dinosteroid dinosteranes and triaromatic dinosteroid hydrocarbons found in rock extracts and petroleum are molecular fossils of dinosterols. We observed a virtually continuous dinosterane record in Precambrian to Cenozoic organic-rich marine rocks. Ratios of dinosterane concentrations to those of steranes with affinities to other taxa are uneven with relatively high ratios in some Vendian to Devonian extracts low ratios in Carboniferous to Permian extracts and high ratios in Upper Triassic through Cretaceous extracts. A similar record was found for triaromatic dinosteroids which were absent undetected in the Carboniferous to Permian extracts. These results show a parallel trend between fossil dinosteroids and the combined cyst records of acritarchs and dinoflagellates. This record reflects the high abundance and diversity of Cambrian to Devonian acritarchs the relatively low abundance and diversity of Carboniferous to Permian acritarchs and emergence diversification and increasing biomass of dinoflagellates in Triassic to Cretaceous rocks. The dinosteroid hydrocarbon record supplements morphologic and ultrastructural arguments that either modern dinoflagellates evolved from ancient Precambrian acritarchs or early dinoflagellates did not commonly encyst. In either case the chemical lineage shown by the dinosteroid hydrocarbons indicates a heritage that dates at least from the Riphean. IN A SURVEY OF marine rocks of various geological ages Moldowan et al. 1996 reported triaromatic dinosteroids 1 numbers in this style refer to figure in Precambrian to Devonian organic-rich sedimentary rocks.

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