Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Life cycle mapped of unique organism in extreme environments

19.02.2007
Microorganisms that thrive under extreme conditions, such as hot acid, not only can be used as a model for how life got started on earth or can emerge on other planets but can also provide knowledge about humans. A team of researchers at Uppsala University have studied some 2,000 genes in such an organism and mapped its life cycle.

The findings are being published this week in an article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. With the aid of microarray technology, the scientists have managed to monitor the expression of all of the roughly 2,000 genes in microorganisms that grow at 80o C, so-called hyperthermophiles.

These organisms, from the Sulfolobus genus, represent life’s third evolutionary line, the archaea, and are found in hots springs all over the world, for instance in the vicinity of the volcano Vesuvius outside Naples, in Iceland, and in Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. The extreme living conditions, where these organisms grow optimally in hot acid, make them interesting not only because of their unique biology but also as a model system in theories of the origins of life in warm environments during the early development of the earth.

“Knowledge of these organisms is also of interest in our search for life on other planets and moons, with their extreme environments,” says Rolf Bernander, professor of molecular evolution at the Center for Evolutionary Biology (EBC), who is responsible for the study, together with doctoral candidate Magnus Lundgren.

They have identified some 160 genes that are specifically activated at various stages when the cells produce a new copy of the chromosome (replication), segregate two daughter chromosomes (mitosis), and then divide (cytokinesis). The team has previously shown that the chromosomes in Sulfolubus species, unlike those in all other species that lack a cell nucleus, are replicated from three different starting points instead of a single one. This was surprising, since this was previously seen as one of the most important borderlines between organisms with or without cell nuclei. Thus, these unique organisms lack cell nuclei, but nevertheless evince replication and cell cycles similar to those of higher organisms.

“Together with the fact that many of archaea genes are very similar to their counterparts in higher organisms, this means that the findings may be of significance in our understanding of cell growth and cell-cycle regulation in humans, for example,” says Rolf Bernander.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0611333104v1
http://www.uu.se

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>