Microbial Cells | The first signs of life from 2.5 bn yrs ago found in India

A team of researchers from IIT Kharagpur has found evidence of life in India dating back at least 2.5 billion years — to the beginning of a time known to scientists as the Great Oxidation Event, which marked the entry of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, making life, as we know it, possible.

1. Scientific deep drilling at Koyna, western Maharashtra, India provides a unique opportunity to explore microbial life within deep biosphere hosted by ~65 Myr old Deccan basalt and Archaean granitic basement

2. Quantitative PCR indicates a depth independent distribution of microorganisms predominated by bacteria. Abundance of dsrB and mcrA genes are relatively higher (at least one order of magnitude) in basalt compared to granite. 

3. Bacterial communities are dominated by Alpha-, Beta-, GammaproteobacteriaActinobacteria and Firmicutes, whereas Euryarchaeota is the major archaeal group. Strong correlation among the abundance of autotrophic and heterotrophic taxa is noted. 

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