### abstract

- We show that dark energy and dark matter can be described simultaneously by ordinary Einstein gravity interacting with a single scalar field provided the scalar field Lagrangian couples in a symmetric fashion to two different spacetime volume forms (covariant integration measure densities) on the spacetime manifold – one standard Riemannian given by \(\sqrt{-g}\) (square root of the determinant of the pertinent Riemannian metric) and another non-Riemannian volume form independent of the Riemannian metric, defined in terms of an auxiliary antisymmetric tensor gauge field of maximal rank. Integration of the equations of motion of the latter auxiliary gauge field produce an a priori arbitrary integration constant that plays the role of a dynamically generated cosmological constant or dark energy. Moreover, the above modified scalar field action turns out to possess a hidden Noether symmetry whose associated conserved current describes a pressureless “dust” fluid which we can identify with the dark matter completely decoupled from the dark energy. The form of both the dark energy and dark matter that results from the above class of models is insensitive to the specific form of the scalar field Lagrangian. By adding an appropriate perturbation, which breaks the above hidden symmetry and along with this couples dark matter and dark energy, we also suggest a way to obtain growing dark energy in the present universe’s epoch without evolution pathologies.