As with other structures and functions within cells, evolution has driven the metabolic processes. This has created both unique processes in organisms and universal key characteristics.
Viewing metabolism through the lens of evolution, answer the following questions
- Propose a hypothesis of how these processes evolved. What evidence did you use to propose this evolution? Defend your hypothesis.
- Identify universal characteristics across organisms that utilize each process in the metabolic pathways. For each characteristic/structure, explain what properties these characteristics/structures have that make them useful across organism types. Then, explain why the amphibolic pathways of metabolism are advantageous for the cells that utilize the full spectrum.
- Next, identify unique characteristics or pathways that specialized cells use to create their own version of the metabolic processes. Looking at archaea can help identify these variations on the process. After identifying these changed characteristics or pathways compare these to the “normal” characteristics and pathways, determining why each organism utilizes their specific one and not the other.
- Finally, hypothesize about future evolutionary changes that may be observed.