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The great oxygenation, undone - Chloroplast virus.

2050: Malaria The ancient enemy of man, genus Plasmodium is eliminated as a human diseasedriven to extinction.    The apicomplexan vestigial chloroplast proves to be a fine therapeutic target.. Even the hypermutable plasmodium cannot out-evolve the synthetic virus targeting its chloroplast.   Malaria is eliminated as a human disease.

2055 Crop failures are noted in central Africa, followed by similar failures in central and South America. It is realized that not just the crops, but all plants are dying. The synthetic virus has mutated, and all chloroplasts are now potential hosts.

2085 Green plants are gone and with them all terrestrial vertebrates and most insects. Green algae are not far behind.

  1. With green algae and plants gone, oxygen levels begin to drop. Free swimming organisms die when the oxygen levels of the ocean fall below 15% and many of the rest die at 10%.

  2. The lands of earth are left to the fungi, which spread in riotous profusion, subsisting on the remains of the land. Certain robust insects and mollusks survive by feeding on the fungi. As oxygen levels dwindle, so too the number of these survivors.

  3. Coral reefs explode with vigor. Partly it is the lack of predators. More importantly, the dinoflagellate chloroplast is genetically so distinct from that of the plants (and apicomplexans) that the virus cannot target it. These photosynthetic organisms thrive as do the corals, sponges and gorgonians that host them, their symbionts now providing both food and oxygen to their tissues.

Outside the growing reefs, the oceans are now ceded to cyanobacteria, which also colonize the empty land. Within a few decades, oxygen levels begin to rise once again.


The few terrestrial survivors are the fungi which made it through the lean years and soil / detritus dwellers like earthworms and sowbugs. Ocean life does better thanks to the coral reefs, although survivors are heavily skewed towards sessile organisms with photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts and (as on land) acorn worms and similar hypoxia-tolerant dwellers in the subsurface.

The great oxygenation, undone - Chloroplast virus.

2050: Malaria is eliminated as a human disease.  The apicomplexan vestigial chloroplast proves to be a fine therapeutic target.. Even the hypermutable plasmodium cannot out-evolve the synthetic virus targeting its chloroplast.  

2055 Crop failures are noted in central Africa, followed by similar failures in central and South America. It is realized that not just the crops, but all plants are dying. The synthetic virus has mutated, and all chloroplasts are now potential hosts.

2085 Green plants are gone and with them all terrestrial vertebrates and most insects. Green algae are not far behind.

  1. With green algae and plants gone, oxygen levels begin to drop. Free swimming organisms die when the oxygen levels of the ocean fall below 15% and many of the rest die at 10%.

  2. The lands of earth are left to the fungi, which spread in riotous profusion, subsisting on the remains of the land. Certain robust insects and mollusks survive by feeding on the fungi. As oxygen levels dwindle, so too the number of these survivors.

  3. Coral reefs explode with vigor. Partly it is the lack of predators. More importantly, the dinoflagellate chloroplast is genetically so distinct from that of the plants (and apicomplexans) that the virus cannot target it. These photosynthetic organisms thrive as do the corals, sponges and gorgonians that host them, their symbionts now providing both food and oxygen to their tissues.

Outside the growing reefs, the oceans are now ceded to cyanobacteria, which also colonize the empty land. Within a few decades, oxygen levels begin to rise once again.


The few terrestrial survivors are the fungi which made it through the lean years and soil / detritus dwellers like earthworms and sowbugs. Ocean life does better thanks to the coral reefs, although survivors are heavily skewed towards sessile organisms with photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts and (as on land) acorn worms and similar hypoxia-tolerant dwellers in the subsurface.

The great oxygenation, undone - Chloroplast virus.

2050: The ancient enemy of man, genus Plasmodium is driven to extinction.   The apicomplexan vestigial chloroplast proves to be a fine therapeutic target.. Even the hypermutable plasmodium cannot out-evolve the synthetic virus targeting its chloroplast. Malaria is eliminated as a human disease.

2055 Crop failures are noted in central Africa, followed by similar failures in central and South America. It is realized that not just the crops, but all plants are dying. The synthetic virus has mutated, and all chloroplasts are now potential hosts.

2085 Green plants are gone and with them all terrestrial vertebrates and most insects. Green algae are not far behind.

  1. With green algae and plants gone, oxygen levels begin to drop. Free swimming organisms die when the oxygen levels of the ocean fall below 15% and many of the rest die at 10%.

  2. The lands of earth are left to the fungi, which spread in riotous profusion, subsisting on the remains of the land. Certain robust insects and mollusks survive by feeding on the fungi. As oxygen levels dwindle, so too the number of these survivors.

  3. Coral reefs explode with vigor. Partly it is the lack of predators. More importantly, the dinoflagellate chloroplast is genetically so distinct from that of the plants (and apicomplexans) that the virus cannot target it. These photosynthetic organisms thrive as do the corals, sponges and gorgonians that host them, their symbionts now providing both food and oxygen to their tissues.

Outside the growing reefs, the oceans are now ceded to cyanobacteria, which also colonize the empty land. Within a few decades, oxygen levels begin to rise once again.


The few terrestrial survivors are the fungi which made it through the lean years and soil / detritus dwellers like earthworms and sowbugs. Ocean life does better thanks to the coral reefs, although survivors are heavily skewed towards sessile organisms with photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts and (as on land) acorn worms and similar hypoxia-tolerant dwellers in the subsurface.

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The great oxygenation, undone - Chloroplast virus.

2050: Malaria is eliminated as a human disease. The apicomplexan vestigial chloroplast proves to be a fine therapeutic target.. Even the hypermutable plasmodium cannot out-evolve the synthetic virus targeting its chloroplast.

2055 Crop failures are noted in central Africa, followed by similar failures in central and South America. It is realized that not just the crops, but all plants are dying. The synthetic virus has mutated, and all chloroplasts are now potential hosts.

2085 Green plants are gone and with them all terrestrial vertebrates and most insects. Green algae are not far behind.

  1. With green algae and plants gone, oxygen levels begin to drop. Free swimming organisms die when the oxygen levels of the ocean fall below 15% and many of the rest die at 10%.

  2. The lands of earth are left to the fungi, which spread in riotous profusion, subsisting on the remains of the land. Certain robust insects and mollusks survive by feeding on the fungi. As oxygen levels dwindle, so too the number of these survivors.

  3. Coral reefs explode with vigor. Partly it is the lack of predators. More importantly, the dinoflagellate chloroplast is genetically so distinct from that of the plants (and apicomplexans) that the virus cannot target it. These photosynthetic organisms thrive as do the corals, sponges and gorgonians that host them, their symbionts now providing both food and oxygen to their tissues.

Outside the growing reefs, the oceans are now ceded to cyanobacteria, which also colonize the empty land. Within a few decades, oxygen levels begin to rise once again.


The few terrestrial survivors are the fungi which made it through the lean years and soil / detritus dwellers like earthworms and sowbugs. Ocean life does better thanks to the coral reefs, although survivors are heavily skewed towards sessile organisms with photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts and (as on land) acorn worms and similar hypoxia-tolerant dwellers in the subsurface.