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 Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>