The Building Blocks of Microbial Evolution

It was an honour and a pleasure to participate last week in the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference in Birmingham.

Two sessions were of special interest, and did not overlap. These were The building blocks of microbial evolution and Mitochondria and related organelles in microbial eukaryotes. The conference also had fascinating plenary and prize lectures.

Good to meet old friends and colleagues, and make new ones. Good, too, to see such progress in understanding fundamental problems.

My presentation in Birmingham, on 30 March, was entitled Anoxygenic photosynthesis and the archaean world. In it, I presented my hypothesis for the events that caused the transition from anoxygenic to oxygenic photosynthesis, and from the Archaean to the Proterozoic aeon. This was also the subject of A redox switch hypothesis for the evolutionary origin of oxygenic photosynthesis, which I gave on 24 March to the 2015 Iron–Sulfur Proteins Meeting at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill.

I am optimistic that I can see a means by which to test this hypothesis, as it is outlined in The origin of atmospheric oxygen on my research web page.

International Convention Centre, Birmingham
International Convention Centre, Birmingham

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