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The rhythm of life on Earth includes several strong themes contributed by Kingdom Fungi. So why are fungi ignored when theorists ponder the origin of life? Casting aside common theories that life originated in an oceanic primeval soup, in a deep, hot place, or even a warm little pond, this is a mycological perspective on the emergence of life on Earth. The author traces the crucial role played by the first biofilms - products of aerosols, storms, volcanic plumes and rainout from a turbulent atmosphere - which formed in volcanic caves 4 billion years ago. Moore describes how these biofilms contributed to the formation of the first prokaryotic cells, and later, unicellular stem eukaryotes, highlighting the role of the fungal grade of organisation in the evolution of higher organisms. Based on the latest research, this is a unique account of the origin of life and its evolutionary diversity to the present day.
Table of Contents
Learning from life on Earth in the present day
Essentials of fungal cell biology
First, make a habitat
The building blocks of life
An extraterrestrial origin of life?
Endogenous synthesis of prebiotic organic compounds on the young Earth
Cooking the recipe for life
'It's life, Jim...'
Coming alive: what happened and where?
My name is LUCA
Rise of the fungi
Emergence of diversity
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