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We outline a plausible evolutionary sequence that led from prokaryotes to the origin of the first nucleated cell. The nucleus is postulated to evolve after the archaebacterium and eubacterium merged to form the symbiotic ancestor of amitochondriate protists. Descendants of these amitochondriate cells (archaeprotists) today thrive in organic-rich anoxic habitats where they are amenable to study. Eukaryosis, the origin of nucleated cells, occurred by the middle Proterozoic Eon prior to the deposition in sediments of well-preserved microfossils such as Vandalosphaeridium and the spiny spheres in the Doushantou cherts of China.
Suppl. S938BBTimes Cited:6Cited References Count:82