Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

A new constraint on the antiquity of ancient haloalkaliphilic green algae that flourished in a ca. 300 Ma Paleozoic lake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Author(s)

Liuwen Xia, Jian Cao, Carina Lee, Eva E. Stüeken, Dongming Zhi, Gordon D. Love

School/Research organisations

Abstract

It is established that green algae and land plants progressively colonized freshwater and terrestrial habitats throughout the Paleozoic Era, but little is known about the ecology of Paleozoic saline lakes. Here, we report lipid biomarker and petrographic evidence for the occurrence of a green alga as a major primary producer in a late Paleozoic alkaline lake (Fengcheng Formation; 309–292 Ma). A persistently saline and alkaline lacustrine setting is supported by mineralogical and lipid biomarker evidence alongside extremely enriched δ15Nbulk values (+16 to +24‰) for the lake depocenter. The prominence of C28 and C29 steroids, co-occurring with abundant carotene-derived accessory pigment markers in these ancient rocks, is suggestive of prolific primary production and elevated source inputs from haloalkaliphilic green algae. The high C28/C29-sterane ratios (0.78–1.29) are significantly higher than the typical marine value reported for late Paleozoic rocks (<0.5) and thus are associated with certain groups of chlorophytes. Adaptation to such extreme lacustrine environments, aided by enhanced biosynthesis of certain cell membrane lipids, likely played an important role in the evolution and physiological development of ancient green algae.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeobiology
Early online date16 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • alkaline (soda) lake, extreme environment, green alga, Junggar Basin, Late Paleozoic, Mahu Sag, β-carotane

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Hydrothermal recycling of sedimentary ammonium into oceanic crust and the Archean ocean at 3.24 Ga

    Stueeken, E. E., Boocock, T. J., Robinson, A., Mikhail, S. & Johnson, B., 8 Apr 2021, In: Geology. First Online, 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Constraining the conditions of phosphogenesis: stable isotope and trace element systematics of Recent Namibian phosphatic sediments

    Lumiste, K., Mänd, K., Bailey, J., Stüeken, E. E., Paiste, K., Lang, L., Sepp, H., Lepland, A. & Kirsimäe, K., 31 Mar 2021, In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. In Press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. MOVES IV. Modelling the influence of stellar XUV-flux, cosmic rays, and stellar energetic particles on the atmospheric composition of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b

    Barth, P., Helling, C., Stueeken, E. E., Bourrier, V., Mayne, N., Rimmer, P., Jardine, M. M., Vidotto, A., Wheatley, P. & Fares, R., 22 Dec 2020, (Accepted/In press) In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Sedimentology and isotope geochemistry of transitional evaporitic environments within arid continental settings: from erg to saline lakes

    Pettigrew, R. P., Priddy, C., Clarke, S. M., Warke, M. R., Stüeken, E. E. & Claire, M. W., 20 Dec 2020, In: Sedimentology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Radiation of nitrogen-metabolizing enzymes across the tree of life tracks environmental transitions in Earth history

    Parsons, C., Stueeken, E. E., Rosen, C., Mateos, K. & Anderson, R., 27 Oct 2020, In: Geobiology. Early View, 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Unravelling biogeochemical phosphorus dynamics in hyperarid Mars-analogue soils using stable oxygen isotopes in phosphate

    Shen, J., Smith, A., Claire, M. & Zerkle, A. L., Nov 2020, In: Geobiology. 18, 6, p. 760-779 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Exploring cycad foliage as an archive of the isotopic composition of atmospheric nitrogen

    Kipp, M. A., Stüeken, E. E., Gehringer, M. M., Sterelny, K., Scott, J. K., Forster, P. I., Strömberg, C. A. E. & Buick, R., 26 Nov 2019, In: Geobiology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Biogeochemical probing of microbial communities in a basalt-hosted hot spring at Kverkfjöll volcano, Iceland

    Cousins, C. R., Fogel, M., Bowden, R., Crawford, I., Boyce, A., Cockell, C. & Gunn, M., Sep 2018, In: Geobiology. 16, 5, p. 507-521

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 271800245

Top