2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
Paper No. 336-1
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-1:20 PM

THE ROLE OF MINERALS IN THE DESIGN OF BIOLOGICAL CATALYSTS IN MICROBES

FALKOWSKI, Paul G., Earth and Planetary Sciences and Institute of Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University, 71 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, falko@marine.rutgers.edu

One of the most telling features of life is the catalysis of electron transfer reactions far from thermodynamic equilibrium. These reactions are driven by proteins containing specific mineral motifs, where a transition metal mediates the redox reaction. By far, the largest driving force for the reactions across the tree of life is solar energy. In this talk, I will examine the co-evolution of mineral and biological systems, which led to a small number of “nanomachines” that have become widely appropriated by microbes. The evolutionary history, derived from structural analyses, strongly suggests that the earliest biological catalysts contained iron-sulfur clusters that react with molecular hydrogen.

2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 336
Geomicrobiology: Microbe-Mineral Interactions
Vancouver Convention Centre-West: 304/305
1:00 PM-5:00 PM, Wednesday, 22 October 2014


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