Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

“David and Goliath” viruses shed light on the origin of jumping genes

04.03.2011
University of British Columbia researchers have identified a small virus that attacks another virus more than 100 times its own size, rescuing the infected zooplankton from certain death. The discovery provides clues to the evolutionary origin of some jumping genes found in other organisms.

The study, by UBC marine microbiologist Curtis Suttle and PhD student Matthias Fischer, is published online today in Science Express. It describes the marine virus Mavirus and its interaction with marine zooplankton Cafeteria roenbergenesis and CroV, the world’s largest marine virus.

“It’s a microbial version of the David and Goliah story where, after infecting Cafeteria roenbergeneis, Mavirus protects it against infection by CroV, while ensuring its own survival,” says Suttle.

Viruses rely on host cells to replicate; in the case of Mavirus, its host is another virus, making it only the second known virophage. It needs CroV to replicate, and in the process suppresses the propagation of CroV.

... more about:
»CroV »DNA »DNA sequence »Mavirus »Suttle »host cells »jumping gene

“What makes this interaction significant to evolutionary biology is that the closest genetic relatives to Mavirus are mobile genetic elements found in single-celled and higher organisms,” says Suttle. “This implies that over evolutionary time, organisms have co-opted the DNA from ancient relatives of Mavirus into their own genomes, presumably so that they could acquire immunity against giant viruses like CroV.

Transposons, or jumping genes, are bits of DNA that can move or “transpose” themselves to new positions within an organism’s genome. Researchers have suspected that a subset of transposons – called Maverick transposons – have a viral origin because of the nature of their DNA sequences.

Suttle and Fischer’s latest work on Mavirus provides the first concrete evidence of this connection.

“Because they’ve sequestered the virophage DNA into their own genomes, organisms probably don’t need to rely on being infected by a second virus to protect themselves,” says Suttle.

Suttle and Fischer previously identified CroV as the world’s largest marine virus, with a complex genome that has made it remarkably independent of its host cells.

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

Further reports about: CroV DNA DNA sequence Mavirus Suttle host cells jumping gene

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>