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Evolution: A four billion year old metabolism

Inspection of more than 286,000 gene families has shed light on the most recent common ancestors of all life. The last universal common ancestor was likely to have been a thermophilic, anaerobic, N2-fixing organism that used the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway to fix CO2, using H2 as an electron donor.

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Correspondence to James O. McInerney.

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McInerney, J. Evolution: A four billion year old metabolism. Nat Microbiol 1, 16139 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.139

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.139

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