Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genome sequencing is for ecologists, too

19.01.2006


An organism widely used for genetics-versus-environment studies has joined the panoply of mice, rats, dogs, humans and other species whose entire genomes have been sequenced.


The water flea Daphnia pulex is a commonly used model organism among ecologists and other environmental scientists. Photo by: P.D.N. Hebert, University of Guelph



At the Daphnia Genomics Consortium’s annual meeting in Bloomington this week, Indiana University and Joint Genome Institute scientists announced they’ve completed a "shotgun" sequence for Daphnia pulex, or the water flea, as it’s better known to high school biology students.

"Daphnia is important to the environmental sciences, where the goal is to understand the complexities of ecosystems by getting a handle on how species in natural settings respond genetically to their environments," said Daphnia Genomics Project leader John Colbourne. "Ecologists and evolutionary biologists would also want to learn more about how genetic variation is important for adaptation and how populations survive in a changing world."


Colbourne is a founding member of the Daphnia Genomics Consortium and the genomics director of the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics at IU Bloomington.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation funded the Daphnia project. Most of the sequencing work was done at DOE’s Joint Genome Institute Production Genomics Facility in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Shotgun sequencing involves breaking a whole genome into smaller, more digestible DNA segments, then sequencing each one. The Daphnia genome was sequenced over eight times to ensure better coverage of all 12 pairs of chromosomes.

Daphnia’s short generation time and small genome (a mere 200 million base pairs) makes it an ideal organism for laboratory and field studies of how environments influence -- and how they’re influenced by -- an organism’s genetics. The animals are common in lakes and ponds and have been used to monitor the health of aquatic environments. Members of the species can reproduce both with and without sex, which has important implications in evolutionary biology and ecology.

Species whose genomes have been sequenced are generally used for experiments in physiology and in developmental and cell biology, but rarely in ecology. Scientists are eager to exploit genomic technologies and genomic experimental approaches that have already revolutionized research in the human health sciences, with the goal of diagnosing the state of aquatic environments.

Despite their common name, water fleas are not insects but crustaceans, like lobsters and crabs. Daphnia is the first crustacean genome to be sequenced. Information from its genome will help biologists make sense of similarities and differences among the intensively studied genetic models of insects, which are evolutionary relatives of crustaceans.

"The genome sequences are being completed for several insects because they are important model organisms -- like fruit flies -- or because they are important in disease or agriculture," said Jeffrey Boore, head of the evolutionary genomics program at the Joint Genome Institute. "And the Daphnia genome sequence will illuminate all of this by allowing us to infer the ground state from which the insect genomes evolved."

David Bricker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.indiana.edu
http://www.lbl.gov

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>