Bacteria underwent a boost in evolution in the Paleozoic Era
Hidden history of bacteria evolution revealed - latest science news stories

Since bacteria is not well represented in fossil records it is difficult for science to understand how different groups evolved. Now, researchers have devised a new approach to pinpoint evolutionary milestones for these microorganisms.

Using the new approach, scientists discovered that around 450 to 350 million years ago, several groups of soil bacteria acquired a new gene from fungi. This allowed them to digest chitin, a hard material found in fungi and insects. This allowed the bacteria to thrive in a chitin-rich environment.

This evolutionary step occurred at the same time with the diversification of land animals including chitin-producing arthropods as shown by fossil records.

Read the full story: MIT
Scientific publication: BMC Evolutionary Biology