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Life cycle of early Cambrian microalgae from the Skiagia-plexus acritarchs
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Paleontology, ISSN 0022-3360, E-ISSN 1937-2337, Vol. 84, no 2, p. 216-230Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Light microscopy studies on new materials and museum collections of early Cambrian organic-walled microfossils, informally called acritarchs, provide the observations on phenetic features that permit a comparison to certain Modern microalgae and the recognition of various developmental stages in their life cycle. The microfossils derive from various depositional settings in Estonia, Australia, Greenland, Sweden and Poland.

The exceptionally preserved microfossils reveal the internal body within the vesicle, - the endocyst -, and the process of releasing the endocyst from the cyst. Vegetative cells, cysts and endocysts are distinguished, and the hypothetical reconstruction of a complex life cycle with the alternation of sexual and asexual generations is proposed. Acritarchs from the Skiagia-plexus are cysts, and likely zygotes in the sexual generation, which periodically rested as “benthic plankton”. Some microfossils of the Leiosphaeridia-plexus are inferred to be vegetative cells, were planktonic and probably haplobiontic. These form-taxa may belong to a single biological species, or a few closely related species, and represent the developmental stages and alternating generations in a complex life cycle that are expressed by polymorphic, sphaero- and acanthomorphic acritarchs. The morphological resemblance and diagnostic cell walls ultrastructure with the trilaminar sheath structure known from earlier studies suggest that the early Cambrian microfossils are the ancestral representatives and/or early lineages to Modern Class Chlorophyceae, and the orders Volvocales and Chlorococcales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 84, no 2, p. 216-230
Keyword [en]
acritarchs, microalgae, Cambrian, life cycle, phytoplankton
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-134390DOI: 10.1666/09-117R.1ISI: 000275689000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-134390DiVA, id: diva2:372317
Available from: 2010-11-25 Created: 2010-11-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Moczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata
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