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Trace metal availability and the evolution of biogeochemistry

Biogeochemistry is controlled by a small set of microbial-encoded proteins containing redox-sensitive transition metals as their core catalytic centre. Understanding how the environmental distribution and availability of these metals influences microbial functional diversity will unlock fundamental knowledge into Earth and life coevolution.

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Fig. 1: Feedbacks between availability of trace elements, metabolic innovation and planetary surface redox state through deep time.


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D.G. thanks C. Vetriani, S. Morrison, M. de Moor, P. Falkowski, E. Shock and R. Hazen for constructive discussion. This work was supported by funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program Grant Agreement No. 948972—COEVOLVE—ERC-2020-STG.

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Correspondence to Donato Giovannelli.

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Giovannelli, D. Trace metal availability and the evolution of biogeochemistry. Nat Rev Earth Environ 4, 597–598 (2023).

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