Cell Energy is the Engine of the Organic World Evo

Fomin Yu.M.

The most important event in the process of development of the organic phase of matter was the emergence of  its cellular structure, that is, the "elementary living system" about 3 billion years ago [5]. Revolutionary significance of this event lies in the fact that this structure was a micro-generator of  energy, which means that it could generate energy within itself, and this energy helped it to a significant extent exist autonomously and independently from the environment. No doubt, this phenomenon played and continues playing  a key role in the evolution of the organic world.

As a result of experimental researches, carried out in the A.N. Belozersky Research Institute  of Physico-Chemical Biology MSU (Moscow State University), Pushchino Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of RAS and St. Petersburg Institute of Cytology of RAS, the discovery of exceptional importance was made, notably the fact of "energy cooperation"  between cells was established. At that  a phenomenon called "leader effect" was discovered, which means that "between the energy parameters of active and inactive cells values inherent to the most active cells are maintained rather than arithmetical mean values" [4].  Consequently, the energy capacity of compact cellular aggregations, compared to the energy of isolated cells, acquires a much greater value.

And here the following question arises – couldn’t the indicated intercellular interaction take place in the remote geological past? We got the answer to this question in the process of study of paleontological materials of the ancient Paleozoic deposits of Central Siberia. As a result of the study of fossil colonial corals belonging to the Cyrthophyllum genus, existed in the Late Ordovician period (448 - 438 million years ago), it was possible to find signs of emergence of inter-corralite skeletal structure, so-called "cenenchima" (Fig. 1a-ц), which, as it is known, is produced by "coenosarc" ectoderm – a special interzooid tissue. These signs were observed in the majority of ancient cyrtophillids representatives, from the basal layer of the Upper Ordovician period in the basin of the Moiero river (a right tributary of the Kotui River), the age of ~ 448 million years old (Fig. 1). In the colonies of these cyrtophillids cenenchima is weakly developed and in some areas it doesn’t exist at all, and here purely polygonal corallites are separated from each other either by a solid thin wall, or by a "wall" consisting of vertical "pillars" with cross section, which equal to the thickness of the initial wall. They are called "baculs" (Fig. 1- б).

Areas in which corallites are separated by only a thin solid wall are apparently the relics of the cyrtophillids’ predecessors which belong to the Lichenaria genus, that had existed even earlier, that is in the Ordovician era. Colonies of the latter consisted of tetrahedral, pentahedral corallites which had solid thin walls and very primitive internal structure: horizontal bottom and no septal apparatus (Fig. 1-a). Based on this observation, we have concluded that cyrtophillid coenosarc is a new formation of lichenariids which originated in the late Ordovician era. A detailed study of these relics allowed reconstructing a probable process of origin and formation of coenosarc and related development of cyrtophillids’ cellular energy.

1. Emergence of specialized cell complexes - SCCs.
The fact of appearance of bacul septa instead of solid walls in lichenariid corralites is evidence of the fact that earlier autonomous skeletogenous cells of zooid ectoderm had got a property that allows them to merge with each other, thus, forming skeletogenous cell complexes - SCCs.
Since every living cell has a certain energy potential [4], compact aggregation of cells suggests the emergence of energy cooperation among them with a much greater power potential compared to the energy of autonomous cells, according to a phenomenon called "leader effect". [4]

 2. Formation of  protocoenosarc.
A higher energy potential of SCC might cause an accelerated appearance of new active skeletogenous cells in them, resulting in the fact that SCCs began to increase in the radial direction, moving the neighbouring corralites away from each other. Intervals between the latter started to appear, and they were filled with short, closely connected vertical plates, which were so called "coenosepta" – in the initial stage of their development. They got the name "protocoenosepta" (Fig. 1-в). In general, they were "protocenenchima" – the waste product from new interzooid tissue in its initial stage of development that is "protocoenosarc."

3. Formation of coenosarc.
Appearance of protocoenosarc probably initiated the development of a general colonial energy cooperation, and, thus, increase of the energy potential in the scope of the colony on the whole. This caused a major transformation in morphology of new corals, known as "cyrtophillids." Earlier short, closely located  protocoenosepta began to turn into thin plates, that is into real "coenosepta", that are radiated from distant from each other corallites, the cross section of which slightly increased and became polygonal-rounded. Interseptal sectors, that formed as a result of this process started to get filled with a so called "bubble tissue". 

Appearance of the above-mentioned skeletal elements is evidence of significant transformations in the coenosarc ectoderm. Linearly elongated SCCs with active skeletogenous cells producing plates-coenosepta, appeared in it, while between them there were sectors of ectoderm  with autonomous, less active cells, being able to generate a skeletal matter only in the form of thin pellicles - bubbles. The process of forming SCCs also began in the ectoderm of zooids, resulting in the fact that special “septal” formations in the form of spines started to protrude in their internal cavity. At the earliest stage of cyrtophillids the spines were isolated and their length didn’t exceed 0.1-0.3 mm. Their number and size started to increase only after 1.2 million years.

 Thus, even in the earliest cyrtophillids active development of coenosarc was due not to an increase in SCC’s energy in relation to their growth, but also due to an increase of general colonial generating capacity.

 Increase in general colonial generating capacity  apparently contributed to a progressive transformation of the colonial organism. For example, in the cavities of zooids of late cyrtophillids after 6 million years a central ("pharyngeal") (Fig. 2a) and a peripheral parts appeared, each of which apparently performed its specific functions. In coenosarc so-called "internal fields" appeared, in which new zooids started to emerge.  (Figure 2 – V.P.)

 A morpho-functional analysis of skeletal structure of late cyrtophillids showed that there was an active process of differentiation of tissues and functions in them, and this process covered both internal and external layers of cells. As it is known, differentiation of tissues and functions is the most important aspect of progressive evolution [1].

Special attention is drawn to the fact that the time of appearance of cyrtophillids coincided with the time of beginning of the Late Ordovician period of kimberlite magmatism in the Siberian platform [3]. As it is known, kimberlite magmatism occurs only during periods of activation of superplumes [6]. Within the Siberian platform in the Phanerozoic era five periods of kimberlite magmatism were singled out, which means five epochs of activation of the East Siberian branch of the Eurasian superplume [7]. Late Ordovician ephochs was the first of them [3]. According to F.F. Brachvogel [2] each time emergence of arched structures preceded  the indicated events, which apparently  was accompanied by rupturing deformations of the rigid shell of the earth (geospheres "A" + "B"). In the course of the increasing degassing a great amount of chemical elements, brought by superplume from the depth of the mantle, could go into the sea basin. Numerous chemical analyses of kimberlite rocks clearly indicate that geospheres of the mantle (E, D''. D ', D) consist of chemical elements of only the first four periods of the periodic table of the elements [8]. Among them there could certainly be C, Ca, O, which are, as you know, the compound components of carbonates, that is, of the substance that makes up the skeletal structure of corals. Activation of superplume that started at the turn of the Middle and Upper Ordovician periods, might lead to the enrichment of the Ordovician sea basin with the indicated chemical elements. This definitely had an impact on the fate of the bottom fauna, especially on such primitive and, therefore, very environmentally dependent representatives of the latter, which were lichenariids. It’s possible that a reaction to the change of the seawater chemism was formation of SCCs in lihenariids, thanks to which a new group of corals, called cyrtophillids emerged.
 Besides, the following fact is interesting: the area of appearance of cyrtophillids (basin of the middle course of the Moiero river) is connected with that part of the East Siberian lithosphere plume-volcanogene, in which activity of this superplume was the most intensive [7] (Fig. 3).

In our opinion, these coincidences are not accidental. Only serious environmental changes could provoke lihenariid transformations at the cellular level.
 This very area became the center from which 1.5 million years later cyrtophillids settled on a vast territory of Asia: in Altai, Sayan Mountains, East Kazakhstan, New Siberian Islands.


1.     Emergence of specialized skeletogenous cell complexes (SCCs) in ancient corals already occurred 448 million years ago. This event marked the beginning of a process of intercellular energy cooperation, which leads, due to the "leader effect" to an ever greater increase in general colonial energy potential, and, as a consequence, to progressive changes of colonial organisms. A great importance of this phenomenon (SCC) is the fact that it, as a matter of fact, was a prototype of specialized organs of all future multicellular organisms.

2. Spatial and temporal coincidence of emergence of SCCs in lihenariids and beginning of activation of East Siberian superplume suggest a cause and effect relation between these two events.


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