Provocative Prescription For Chemical Evolution In Plants
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are proposing some provocative ideas about how plants developed the wide assortment of chemicals they use to sustain life and how they developed other chemicals that may or may not contribute to their immediate survival, but instead often ensure reproductive success in changing, earth environments. They theorize that a very early form of chemical reactions that occurred in the prebiotic soup paved the way for production of chemicals important to the survival of the earliest cellular organisms. The researchers speculate these chemical processes, now catalytically robust, evolved into separate pathways both in early plants and in their aquatic ancestors.
Image credit: Jing-Ke Weng, Salk Institute