SYDNEY, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia announced on Thursday they have discovered a new bacterium that could change long thought to be certain theories on evolution.
Regular convention dictates there are three domains of life; bacteria and archaea which are single cell organisms without a nucleus, and eukaroytes, which comprise of every other living creature, big and small.
A particular bacterium has never fit the mould, 'Gemmata obscuriglobus' has been given the monniker of the platypus of microbiology, due to how it defies convention by having features that are inclusive of those found in eukaroytes.
The discovery by the team led by Emeritus Professor John Fuerst, of 'G. obscuriglobus' having pore like structures in its membrane that are similar to eukaryote pores, has Fuerst excited about the possibilities.
This is a remarkable evolutionary finding, since most bacteria do not possess these structures, Fuerst said.
Like the membrane-bounded nucleus, nuclear pore complexes had been thought to be restricted to eukaryotes.
Fuerst says the discovery could be pivotal, as it would lead to a better understanding of how the first complex cells came into creation.
The results are of evolutionary significance, since the origin of eukaroytes is a major event in lifes history, Fuerst said.
Finding nuclear pore-like structures in the bacterial species 'G. obscuriglobus' is significant for understanding how the cell nucleus and the pores embedded in its membrane envelope could have evolved - a major unsolved problem in evolutionary cell biology.