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Cryogenian evolution of stigmasteroid biosynthesis

Hoshino, Yosuke; Poshibaeva, Aleksandra; Meredith, William; Snape, Colin; Poshibaev, Vladimir; Versteegh, Gerard J.M.; Kuznetsov, Nikolay; Leider, Arne; van Maldegem, Lennart; Neumann, Mareike; Naeher, Sebastian; Moczydłowska, Małgorzata; Brocks, Jochen J.; Jarrett, Amber J.M.; Tang, Qing; Xiao, Shuhai; McKirdy, David; Das, Supriyo Kumar; Alvaro, José Javier; Sansjofre, Pierre; Hallmann, Christian


Yosuke Hoshino

Aleksandra Poshibaeva

William Meredith

Colin Snape

Vladimir Poshibaev

Gerard J.M. Versteegh

Nikolay Kuznetsov

Arne Leider

Lennart van Maldegem

Mareike Neumann

Sebastian Naeher

Małgorzata Moczydłowska

Jochen J. Brocks

Amber J.M. Jarrett

Qing Tang

Shuhai Xiao

David McKirdy

Supriyo Kumar Das

José Javier Alvaro

Pierre Sansjofre

Christian Hallmann


Sedimentary hydrocarbon remnants of eukaryotic C26–C30 sterols can be used to reconstruct early algal evolution. Enhanced C29 sterol abundances provide algal cell membranes a density advantage in large temperature fluctuations. Here, we combined a literature review with new analyses to generate a comprehensive inventory of unambiguously syngenetic steranes in Neoproterozoic rocks. Our results show that the capacity for C29 24-ethyl-sterol biosynthesis emerged in the Cryogenian, that is, between 720 and 635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth glaciations, which were an evolutionary stimulant, not a bottleneck. This biochemical innovation heralded the rise of green algae to global dominance of marine ecosystems and highlights the environmental drivers for the evolution of sterol biosynthesis. The Cryogenian emergence of C29 sterol biosynthesis places a benchmark for verifying older sterane signatures and sets a new framework for our understanding of early algal evolution.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 20, 2017
Journal Science Advances
Electronic ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 9
Article Number e1700887
APA6 Citation Hoshino, Y., Poshibaeva, A., Meredith, W., Snape, C., Poshibaev, V., Versteegh, G. J., …Hallmann, C. (2017). Cryogenian evolution of stigmasteroid biosynthesis. Science Advances, 3(9), doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700887
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


Science Advances - Cryogenian steroids.pdf (425 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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