Abstract: Isoprenoids, also known as terpenoids, are ancient compounds with their origin before the era of the last universal common ancestor. They are the most diverse class of organic compounds in nature and have pivotal roles in all known organisms on Earth from unicellular bacteria to complex multicellular eukaryotes. Modern isoprenoids are functionally and structurally so diverse that it is difficult to grasp their enormous diversity from a single perspective. However, the modern biochemistry of isoprenoid biosynthesis still preserves its primordial form in itself. In this seminar, the complex evolutionary history of isoprenoid biosynthesis will be disentangled and the initial isoprenoid repertoire at the origin of life will be reconstructed. Predicted isoprenoidal biosignatures in the geological record will also be discussed.
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