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Chemostratigraphic reconstruction of biofacies; molecular evidence linking cyst-forming dinoflagellates with pre-Triassic ancestors

J. Michael Moldowan, Jeremy Dahl, Stephen R. Jacobson, Bradley J. Huizinga, Frederick J. Fago, Rupa Shetty, David S. Watt and Kenneth E. Peters
Chemostratigraphic reconstruction of biofacies; molecular evidence linking cyst-forming dinoflagellates with pre-Triassic ancestors
Geology (Boulder) (February 1996) 24 (2): 159-162

Abstract

New data from numerous detailed mass-spectrometric studies have detected triaromatic dinosteroids in Precambrian to Cenozoic rock samples. Triaromatic dinosteroids are organic geochemicals derived from dinosterols, compounds known in modern organisms to be the nearly exclusive widely occurring products of dinoflagellates. We observed the ubiquitous occurrence of these dinosteroids in 49 Late Triassic through Cretaceous marine source rocks and the absence of them in 13 Permian-Carboniferous source rocks synergistic with the dinoflagellate cyst record. However, finding dinosteroids in lower Paleozoic and Precambrian strata presents challenging results for molecular paleontologists, evolutionary biologists, palynologists, and especially for those concerned with the food web at various times of biological crisis. Other than the few species known as parasites and symbionts, many other dinoflagellate species are important as primary producers. The presence of Precambrian to Devonian triaromatic dinosteroids gives chemostratigraphic evidence of dinoflagellates (or other organisms with similar chemosynthetic capabilities) in rocks significantly older than the oldest undisputed dinoflagellate fossils (dinoflagellate cysts from the Middle Triassic, approximately 240 Ma), and older than the putative Silurian ( approximately 420 Ma) dinocyst, Arpylorus antiquus (Calandra) Sargent, from Tunisia. This systematic chemostratigraphic approach can shed light not only on lineages of dinoflagellates and their precursors, but potentially on many other lineages, especially bacteria, algae, plants, and possibly some metazoans.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 24
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Chemostratigraphic reconstruction of biofacies; molecular evidence linking cyst-forming dinoflagellates with pre-Triassic ancestors
Affiliation: Stanford University, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford, CA, United States
Pages: 159-162
Published: 199602
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 39
Accession Number: 1996-019617
Categories: Geochemistry of rocks, soils, and sedimentsStratigraphyPaleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Chevron Petroleum Technology Company, San Ramon, CA, USA, United StatesOhio State University, Columbus, OH, USA, United StatesARCO International Oil and Gas Company, Plano, TX, USA, United StatesUniversity of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA, United StatesMobil Exploration & Producing Technical Center, Dallas, TX, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 199607
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