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Demosponge steroid biomarker 26-methylstigmastane provides evidence for Neoproterozoic animals
Univ Calif Riverside, Dept Earth Sci, Riverside, CA 92521 USA.
Univ Calif Riverside, Dept Earth Sci, Riverside, CA 92521 USA.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Farmakognosi.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4045-6718
Stanford Univ, Dept Geol Sci, Stanford, CA 94305 USA.
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2018 (English)In: Nature Ecology & Evolution, E-ISSN 2397-334X, Vol. 2, no 11, p. 1709-1714Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sterane biomarkers preserved in ancient sedimentary rocks hold promise for tracking the diversification and ecological expansion of eukaryotes. The earliest proposed animal biomarkers from demosponges (Demospongiae) are recorded in a sequence around 100 Myr long of Neoproterozoic-Cambrian marine sedimentary strata from the Huqf Supergroup, South Oman Salt Basin. This C-30 sterane biomarker, informally known as 24-isopropylcholestane (24-ipc), possesses the same carbon skeleton as sterols found in some modern-day demosponges. However, this evidence is controversial because 24-ipc is not exclusive to demosponges since 24-ipc sterols are found in trace amounts in some pelagophyte algae. Here, we report a new fossil sterane biomarker that co-occurs with 24-ipc in a suite of late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian sedimentary rocks and oils, which possesses a rare hydrocarbon skeleton that is uniquely found within extant demosponge taxa. This sterane is informally designated as 26-methylstigmastane (26-mes), reflecting the very unusual methylation at the terminus of the steroid side chain. It is the first animal-specific sterane marker detected in the geological record that can be unambiguously linked to precursor sterols only reported from extant demosponges. These new findings strongly suggest that demosponges, and hence multicellular animals, were prominent in some late Neoproterozoic marine environments at least extending back to the Cryogenian period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2018. Vol. 2, no 11, p. 1709-1714
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Evolutionary Biology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-370005DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0676-2ISI: 000447964800013PubMedID: 30323207OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-370005DiVA, id: diva2:1275986
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EU, Horizon 2020, 679849Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Cárdenas, PacoGunasekera, Sunithi

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