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Scanning electron microscope image of Cyanobacteria
Chains of cyanobacteria have been coloured green; spores are shown in pink. (Image: Steve Gschmeissner/SPL/Getty)

Fossils suggest these photosynthetic bacteria have been around for at least 3.5 million years. Plants originated when they took up a symbiotic residence in a eukaryotic cell host, eventually forming chloroplasts – the photosynthesis factories of green plants. Thus cyanobacteria played a crucial role in shaping the Earth’s atmosphere as well as the marine and terrestrial habitats. 

SOURCE:  New Scientist

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