In the deep waters of the Black Sea, the scientists discovered strange microbes. Studying them, they came to the conclusion that they can open new horizons for the early development of life on our planet. Complex life forms on our planet could have arisen as a result of the symbiosis of bacteria and a single-celled organism called archaea. But science has no data on when exactly these two organisms could intersect and mix.
It was until the scientists discovered strange microbes in the Black Sea. These microbes have the ability to produce membrane lipids, the layer that surrounds the cell like skin. The scientists called their origin unexpected.
The discovery is being researched by specialists from the University of Utrecht. A leading researcher Daura Villanueva believes that membrane lipids protect against changes in the external environment. It is like skin that reacts to heat or cold outside.
When a cell dies, lipids are retained like a fossil. They contain ancient information about the early conditions of life on the Earth and environmental conditions. The "skin" of membrane cells also proved to be able to help microorganisms to survive in extreme conditions.
The scientists believe that at a certain point in time, lipid division took place, it represented a difference in membranes between bacteria and eukaryotes on the one hand and archaea on the other.
After that, bacteria and archaea could appear from the last universal cellular ancestor. In fact, the symbiosis could be the beginning of a new life on the Earth, and the archaeal cell could become a kind of ancestor. The discovery of strange bacteria in the Black Sea is the proof, as they contain two mixed types of membranes.
The researchers say they found a possible missing piece of that puzzle. In the Black Sea, a large group of bacteria thrive in oxygen-deprived depths with a high concentration of sulfides. It can be the genetic material of not only bacterial lipids, but also archaeal lipids.