The Surprising Archaea: Discovering Another Domain of Life

Hardcover | March 9, 2000

byJohn L. Howland

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Although they comprise one of the three fundamental branches of life, the Archaea were only recognized as a group about twenty years ago. This recognition was based on similarities between their RNA sequences, similarities all the more striking because of the diversity of archaeal lifestyles.They include microorganisms that live in boiling water, within the guts of animals, or in concentration brines. It is also evident that the Archaea diverged early in the history of life, and are of great evolutionary interest as a result. This book tells their emerging story, from their toughness inthe face of forbidding environments to their unique place in evolution and in the world ecosystem.

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Although they comprise one of the three fundamental branches of life, the Archaea were only recognized as a group about twenty years ago. This recognition was based on similarities between their RNA sequences, similarities all the more striking because of the diversity of archaeal lifestyles.They include microorganisms that live in boi...

John L. Howland, Josiah Little Professor of Natural Science, Bowdoin College.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.41 × 7.25 × 0.98 inPublished:March 9, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195111834

ISBN - 13:9780195111835

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Table of Contents

1. Meeting Some Archaea2. Their Discovery3. Finding Them in Nature (and Bringing Them Home)4. Archaeal Portraits5. Where They Live (and How They Manage)6. From a Historical Perspective7. Making a Living (Obtaining Energy)8. Archaea as Ancestors9. Looking ForwardAdditional ReadingIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The Archaea, or archebacteria, constitute the fifth kingdom of living organisms, as distinct from true bacteria as from fungi, animals, and plants. They were very likely the first life forms form which all other living things evolved, because they are naturally evolved, because they arenaturally adapted to thrive in the anoxic extreme environments that prevailed when life originated on the earth. . .Their discovery has given a unique vantage on the principles of life because they present unique life histories and metabolisms, in effect a novel, previously unrecognized type oflife."--Ethology, Ecology, Evolution