The Song of LUCA

I have so much to say on this topic, but that takes a lot of time. It’s necessary for a scientific paper to have a long list of references, proofs of everything you are saying, pictures, etc., etc., and in the end will reach only a few people who are just interested in the same matter. I know that it is necessary to go through the long procedure, but you can never be sure, whether there isn’t someone else who will be ready before you to say just the same and you have done almost everything in vain. So I had a strange idea, of which I am not sure that it can actually work, but I thought it may be worth testing. So I started to write a poem that exclusively contains the quintessence of what I want to say before all the necessary steps are done for a truly scientific publication.

A poem is an authetic publication, in this case dealing with one of the most controversial, but also most important themes in biology, the origin of life and its evolution on Earth. It is such a general problem, that it is not necessarily interesting only for specialists, and presented as a poem it may appeal also to those interested in new traits in litterature. Btw., it is not so new as it seems: already Goethe introduced his theory on what he called the metamorphosis of plants, one of the roots of plant morphology, in a poem, which later was followed by a more extensive text in prose. It’s just an attempt, nothing which I consider as final. I ask for mercy if you shouldn’t like it.

The Song of LUCA

Let me sing of LUCA,

The Last (and first) Universal Common Ancestor

Of all that is life.

It is not an individual nor a species,

Neither bacterium nor archaeon,

It’s primaeval slime covering all that sustains it

Like Solaris’ ocean of Stanislaw Lem

That contained everything we know separated .

It is primaeval slime

Containing the seeds of all future progeny

Before separation, individualization, compartmentalization began.

For billions of years it existed as the sole being,

As an almost unlimited potential

Formed by molecules attracting each other,

Activated by cosmic rather than telluric phosphorus

And the light of the sun,

Not yet truly alive undergoing inverse evolution,

That led to complexity basic to life.

This primaeval slime, which we may call LUCA,

Was the first entity with potential of life,

A step in the evolution of the planet itself,

Gaia, the Mother of All.

Complexity growing, surpassing the border of living matrix,

Led to a splitting into tiny fragments,

Each of which was alive, smaller than dust,

But they all were connected, could communicate,

Exchanging the informations needed

To stay alive and to propagate

In a state of non-Darwinian evolution.

From there began a new phase in the stream,

Creating amazing diversity,

But showing patterns of iteration

In form and function

Along numerous lines of increasing complexity

Of the Tree of Life in unending branching

Not by chance, but following mathematical law

For fractals ordering former chaos

Expressed in Mandelbrot’s formula.

How poor our language, dead words, that murder

The wonder and beauty of Gaia’s glory,

But always better than knowledge lost!

What I wanted this blog for

When I started this blog about 3 months ago my primary intention had been to post ideas within my special field of interest, microbiology and botany, so that I could proove later, that these were actually my views, which were still not elaborated enough to be published, but for which I wanted to have acknowledged priority. I soon found out, that this would not be the right place for such an endeavour, without an official copyright it didn’t make much sense actually. As I have still other, much more private interests which show up in the blogs I am following, the first few subscriber certainly expected something very different from what they could find here. I will go on to include ideas of the kind I started with as a personal memo, but otherwise write about themes within a much wider context, that might attract users, who share with me other aspects of myself. Let me mention a few of these themes here:

Let me say first, that I am a loner most of the time, but appreciate contacts online, which serve the exchange of  views and experiences of a kind I would hesitate to discuss in a dialogue taking place in the real world. I am an old man now, and many people might think, that it is not appropriate for such a one to still think and feel as I do. I have no closer relationship to my age, I experience myself as the same person I have always been with all the attributes that are part of what I am.

An enumeration of some of the themes I am interested in apart from biology:

Reading and writing poetry and works of fiction

Being an empath

Psychology, especially connected with traumata and how they can be overcome, with  relationships out of the ordinary such as Ds, with personal development of older and younger individuals

Myths, religions, philosophy

Nature, environment, barefooting and earthing


Friendship: I confess, that I always had a preference for female friends

I hope, that you will have got an idea of what kind of a person I am, though I can be fairly diverse, as is already obvious from the above list. I have to add, that English is not my native tongue, but I prefer to use it here to reach a wider public. I apologize for any mistakes that might occur due to this fact.

I will always be glad to hear from you!




Proposed parallel evolution of Rhodophyta and Eumycota

There are a number of features both groups have in common, morphological as well as biochemical. Substances found in both as primary gene products or secondary metabolism were listed by Desmoulin in 2 publications (197., 19782). The morphological and karyological features include  incomplete septa in filamentous taxa, though the way to close the central pit during most of their lifetime is different: formation of pit plugs with a very distinctive structure and chemism in Rhodophyta, no such structures in Ascomycota, clamp connections in the majority of Basidiomycota. There are also unicellular members in both groups, which may represent a primitive state or be the result of reductive evotionary trends. During cell division the nuclear envelope remains intact, microtubular filaments involved in chromosome movements remain inside this envelope. There are no flagella in any stage of development, neither are centrioles present.  Morphology of the vegetative thallus follows the stages first descibed by Chadefaud from 1954 onwards, from unicellular through filamentous to cladomoid with a special structure called “incrustant” by him, that can be derived from a cladom. These terms never have been fully accepted by authors writing in English, though they are of primary importance.  In a cladom a central filamentous axis is developed, that is either composed of a single thread or by a bundle of parallel threads closely attached to each other. That axis usually is indeterminate in its length und producing 2 kinds of lateral structures, which may be either cylindrical or flattened, the first called pleuridia, the second phyllidia from their leaf-like shape. In Rhodophyta both types occur. They are distinguished from the axis by their strictly limited length. In Eumycota the filamentous type is prevailing in the vegetative part, pleuridia or phyllidia  are not known among them.  What Chadefaud calls “thème incrustant” is different from the cladom in that the central axis is flattend, composed of numerous threads (called hyphe in fungi) closely attached to each other, from which lateral branches with limited growth corresponding to pleuridia, which are arising from each more or less isodiametrical cell forming a surface layer. The flat axis usually is attached to the substrate, so that formation of the lateral branches is unilateral confined to the exposed surface. All these types are known from Rhodophyta. In fungi the crustose and a slight modification of the cladomoid type are confined to lichenized taxa. The modification results from an erect axis with short cells producing a closed layer of lateral branches in all directions, so that cylindrical stems and branches are formed like those of Cladonia.   The anatomical features of fruiting bodies especially in ascomycetes can easily be derived from these structures. In basidiomycetes crustose fruiting bodies are representing the incrusting type in almost its original manner. Stipitate fruiting bodies as found mainly in Agaricales are characterized by a different anatomy in the stipe, which is usually composed of parallel hyphae  , and the pileus with a dorsiventral differentiation in a cortex on one side, hyphae forming the hymenophore on the other. Closed perithecia, pseudothecia and pycnidia are composed of more or less intertwined hyphae as central axis of the encrusting type either forming an outward layer of short branches or being exposed on the outside (Lohwag’s derm and cutis respectively) and the hymenial parts in the interior. There are numerous modifications of that general scheme, that can’t be discussed in detail here. In Rhodophyta, conceptacles correspond to that general type, they come very close morphologically to perithecia with asci in genera like Hildenbrandia, though the organs produced within them have a very different function. Though the similarity is only one of gross morphology between reproductive organs in Rhodophyta and ascomycetes it is characteristic for a special stage of evolution, which is parallel in both major groups. The presence of plastids is unique to Rhodophyta, though and shared with Chlorophyta and Cyanophyta only.

It is hypothesized here that especially the absence of motile structures composed of microtubules are more primitive features compared to flagellate cells with flagella of the 9+2 strands type, which is different from functionally similar organelles in Prokaryota. The pigments in Rhodophyta are directly derived from those of Cyanobacteria. On this level of evolution horizontal gene transfer seems to have still been responsible for the acquisition of chemical and morphological features for both Rhodophyta and Fungi.