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Title: On the affinity of Chuaria-Tawuia complex: A multidisciplinary study
Authors: SHARMA, M
Keywords: Neoproterozoic Acritarchs
Vindhyan Supergroup
Mackenzie Mountains
Eastern China
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: PRECAMBRIAN RESEARCH, 173(1-4), 123-136
Abstract: In this study, biometric and structural engineering tool have been used to examine a possible relationship within Chuaria-Tawuia complex and micro-FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) analyses to understand the biological affinity of Chuaria circularis Walcott, collected from the Mesoproterozoic Suket Shales of the Vindhyan Supergroup and the Neoproterozoic Halkal Shales of the Bhima Group of peninsular India. Biometric analyses of well preserved carbonized specimens show wide variation in morphology and uni-modal distribution. We believe and demonstrate to a reasonable extent that C. circularis most likely was a part of Tawuia-like cylindrical body of algal origin. Specimens with notch/cleft and overlapping preservation, mostly recorded in the size range of 3-5 mm, are of special interest. Five different models proposed earlier on the life cycle of C circularis are discussed. A new model, termed as 'Hybrid model' based on present multidisciplinary study assessing cylindrical and spherical shapes suggesting variable cell wall strength and algal affinity is proposed. This model discusses and demonstrates varied geometrical morphologies assumed by Chuaria and Tawuia, and also shows the inter-relationship of Chuaria-Tawuia complex. Structural engineering tool (thin walled pressure vessel theory) was applied to investigate the implications of possible geometrical shapes (sphere and cylinder), membrane (similar to cell wall) stresses and ambient pressure environment on morphologically similar C circularis and Tawuia. The results suggest that membrane stresses developed on the structures similar to Chuaria-Tawuia complex were directly proportional to radius and inversely proportional to the thickness in both cases. In case of hollow cylindrical structure, the membrane stresses in circumferential direction (hoop stress) are twice of the longitudinal direction indicating that rupture or fragmentation in the body of Tawuia would have occurred due to hoop stress. It appears that notches and discontinuities seen in some of the specimens of Chuaria may be related to rupture suggesting their possible location in 3D Chuaria. The micro-FTIR spectra of C. circularis are characterized by both aliphatic and aromatic absorption bands. The aliphaticity is indicated by prominent alkyl group bands between 2800-3000 and 1300-1500 cm(-1). The prominent absorption signals at 700-900 cm(-1) (peaking at 875 and 860 cm(-1)) are due to aromatic CH out of plane deformation. A narrow, strong band is centred at 1540 cm(-1) which could be COOH band. The presence of strong aliphatic bands in FTIR spectra suggests that the biogeopolymer of C. circularis is of aliphatic nature. The wall chemistry indicates the presence of 'algaenan'-a biopolymer of algae. (C) 2009
ISSN: 0301-9268
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