I'll start by saying that the web searches I do in the sciences tend to turn up results that either aren't suitable for a layman or do not deal with my subject directly.
I am developing my setting for a science fiction novel. This will be the first off-world colony, engineered on a planet with oceans, suitable soil, and an earth-like atmosphere. It would be done in two stages. In the first stage the planet would be struck with a gaia bomb ala Search for Spock to create basic vegetation (and the lower life needed to compliment it) to cover the land and line the oceans. In the second stage, the colonists themselves would bring earthly crops, trees, and animals, as well as ova of engineered animals. I know that as the ecology takes shape the engineered plants and animals would mutate and revolt against the obstacles to their prosperity, until later a more natural equilibrium is met. I would like some fairly radical monstrosities to be produced in this process.
What I need is information on mutation, chimerical cells, and anything else applicable which I might not know to ask about. To the biologists in the audience, how do you envision a punctuated equilibrium of this magnitude to unfold, and what would the pacing be?
EDIT: To clarify, the oxygen will be derived from the oceans and the plant life which comes about in stage one. I do not intent for there to be any indiginous life, though I haven't ruled out the possibility. The soil will likewise be in a primitive virgin state but sufficient to stammer out wild plant life and crops.
I suppose I'm looking for information on what mutagenic tendancies can be programmed in to the engineered life in order to hasten the environmental eqilibrium. While fantastic, I'm trying to eliminate as much bull from the process as possible.