Is oxygen required for sensing nutrient chemicals and pheromones?

Living World / Unusual Organisms

Discover Interview Tullis Onstott Went 2 Miles Down & Found Microbes That Live on Radiation

Bacteria found in gold mines and frozen caves show the extreme flexibility of life, and hint at where else we might find it in the solar system.

by Valerie Ross

From the July-August special issue of Discover; published online June 26, 2012

Quote: “This thing had everything. It could take nitrogen directly from its environment, something we did not expect subsurface organisms to do because it takes so much energy. But the real surprise was that it had genes for flagella, tails bacteria use to propel themselves, which basically means it could be swimming around in the environment. It had genes for gas vesicles, which means it can adjust its buoyancy in the environment. And it had genes for chemoreception, which tells us it’s sensing something. The genome is saying it’s a very adaptable organism, and it has the capability of moving around. The idea that organisms down there might be moving around and interacting with the environment—that was really surprising. The only tip-off from the genome that this is a subsurface organism is that it has no protection against oxygen. As soon as it hits air, it’s dead.”

My comment: The genes for chemoreception link this organism to olfaction and odor receptors that provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans. The obvious fact that this anaerobic organism can respond to them, links nutrient chemicals and pheromones to the epigenetic effects of the sensory environment on an organism that is not found at levels higher that two kilometers below the surface of the earth.  It needs no oxygen, but it still must acquire nutrient chemicals,  and the metabolism of nutrient chemicals to pheromones must control its reproduction as in every other species on (or underneath the surface of) this planet.

About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society