Scientists produce rosetta stone for understanding evolutionSeptember 4th, 2008 - 3:53 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, September 4 (ANI): Molecular and evolutionary biologists from Yale University, in collaboration with Department of Energy scientists, have produced the full genome sequence of Trichoplax, one of natures most primitive multicellular organisms, which may serve as the rosetta stone for understanding evolution of all higher animals.
The findings show that while Trichoplax has one of the smallest nuclear genomes found in a multi-cellular creature, it contains signature sequences for gene regulation found in more complex animals and humans.
Further, it defines Trichoplax as a branching point of animal evolution.
Trichoplax placozoans are animals that have only four body cell types and no structured organs. They represent descendents of the oldest multi-celled animal, perhaps older even than sponges, said author Stephen Dellaporta, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale.
This study shows that compared with the nuclear genome of humans that contains 3 billion base pairs, Trichoplax has only 98 million.
Earlier sequencing work showed that the mitochondrial genome of Trichoplax is over twice the size of those found in most animals with genes, introns and spacer sequences like the most primitive organisms.
However, size is not all that matters.
DNA sequences that organisms share in common represents what was in their genomes at the time of their divergence.
Unlike other model systems for studying evolution, including fruit flies and worms, even the arrangement of genes is conserved between the Trichoplax and human genomes.
Trichoplax shares over 80 percent of its genes with humans. We are exited to find that Trichoplax contains shared pathways and defined regulatory sequences that link these most primitive ancestors to higher animal species, said Dellaporta.
The Trichoplax genome will serve as a type of Rosetta Stone for understanding the origins of animal-specific pathways, he added. (ANI)
- Spurt in oxygen levels 550mn yrs ago drove evolution of animal life - Dec 18, 2010
- How man, but not chimp, evolved to have spike-free penis - Mar 10, 2011
- Ancient gene planted in modern bug to track evolution - Jul 12, 2012
- Modern-day genomes used to reconstruct evolution of 3bn-yr-old microbes - Dec 20, 2010
- Male, female parts in plants 'talk in the same way as cells do in your brain' - Mar 18, 2011
- New rat study may help understand genetic basis of human hypertension - Apr 29, 2010
- Loss of key protein contributes to neuron loss in ALS - Mar 05, 2011
- How did higher life on Earth evolve? - Jun 04, 2010
- Research reveals how much of mom, dad are active in us - Sep 06, 2012
- Fern gene that helps clean soil of arsenic - Jun 11, 2010
- Oz sponge may help shed light on life's origin - Aug 05, 2010
- World's first computer model of organism created - Jul 22, 2012
- Tweaking plants' bio-clock can revolutionise food output - Sep 04, 2011
- Genes determine a lot more than just our looks - Nov 08, 2010
- Full genetic blueprint of blood cancer offers new insights - Mar 24, 2011