plants and animals

Bacterial genes may give a clue on wings evolution

8e6ac47821297aeee8c843e680637dca

Franz
Anthony

Editor and Artist
The evolution of novel traits such as wings, flowers, horns, or limbs, is known to be important to drive biodiversity. However, it is not easy to understand how such changes happen at the genetic level.

An international team of evolutionary biologists led by the University of Oxford has used 380 populations of the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa to show that the duplication of genes may allow organisms to develop new traits. The team observed evolution happening in real-time by allowing the bacteria to develop new metabolic traits such as the ability to degrade different sugar compounds.


After 30 days of the experiment, they discovered that mutations mainly affected genes related to transcription and metabolism, and that novelty tended to evolve through the duplication of genes in the bacteria.


It is said that the duplication of genes allows bacteria to evolve new functions without compromising existing ones. In more complex organisms as plants and animals, such event occurs from spontaneous duplication of existing genes.


These findings provide important empirical evidence to support the theory that has been around since the 1970s, and may allow researchers to predict the mutational ability of harmful bacteria such as virulence and antibiotic resistance.


Original findings published in Phys.org.

8e6ac47821297aeee8c843e680637dca

Franz
Anthony

Editor and Artist


http://sulc.us/2g7gz
http://www.eartharchives.org/articles/bacterial-genes-may-give-a-clue-on-wings-evolution/