Sex before you’re born: Early organism, ancient human cousin, had kinky mating rituals

Until now, little was known about the biology of Fractofusus, which lived in the ocean 565 million years ago.

But new research has revealed a dual mode of reproduction. In one method, the organism sprouted young from its body in much the same way that a spider plant or strawberry plant multiplies.

In another, it produced seeds or tiny buds into the water column.

This allowed the ancient life-form to produce clones that could colonise a new patch of seabed.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Fractofusus  — originally called “the Spindle” until it was formally described in 2007 — appeared in the Ediacaran age.

It is among the earliest-known, complicated organisms, emerging from an ocean of simple multi-cellular microbes.

“It has a very distinct body plan that is totally unique,” said Dr. Emily Mitchell, the paper’s lead author, from the University of Cambridge.

“There is nothing like Fractofusus around today, which makes trying to understand anything about it really, really difficult.”

She added: “We knew very little, apart from the fact it lived in the deep sea, it has a relatively large surface area – so it got its nutrients from the water column.

“We literally had no idea how it reproduced prior to this study.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Sex life of ancient Fractofusus organism revealed

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...

Most Popular

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend