Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The genetic differences between yeasts of the same species are greater than those between humans and chimpanzees

13.02.2009
There may be greater genetic variation between different yeasts of the same species than between humans and chimpanzees.

This is one of the findings of a study from the University of Gothenburg that is being published in the scientific journal Nature. This study heralds a new era in evolutionary genetics research - the mapping of an individual's DNA.

The mapping of the entire yeast genome in 1996 marked the beginning of a revolution in biological and medical research. The human genome was mapped in 2001, and by now the number of characterised species is approaching 1000, most of which are bacteria. The next advance is only a few years away - mapping the genetic evolution of individual multicellular animals, including humans.

"We shall then be able to identify the genetic causes of human disease and to understand how the process of evolution works when species are being formed," says Anders Blomberg, professor at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.

Anders Blomberg and his colleague Jonas Warringer are publishing a paper in the highly respected scientific journal Nature, that to some extent leads into a new era in evolutionary and functional genetics research. The lowly yeast is, once again, leading the way.

In collaboration with the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, and the University of Nottingham, the Gothenburg researchers have succeeded in sequencing the DNA and characterising the genome properties (i.e. phenotypes) of 70 different individual organisms from two different species of yeast - the common brewer's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its evolutionary cousin Saccharomyces paradoxus. The paper presents several interesting conclusions, e.g. that human alcohol consumption has altered yeast DNA.

"As humans transported wine and beer yeasts around the world, different yeasts have mated and recombined, so that the strains of today carry gene variants from various parts of the world. This mosaic pattern is not at all visible in our studies of another yeast that has not been exploited by humans," says Anders Blomberg.

The study also shows that there can be greater genetic differences between individuals within a particular species of yeast than there are between humans and chimpanzees. The DNA of individual yeast organisms can vary by up to 4 per cent, compared to the 1 per cent difference between the DNA of humans and chimpanzees.

Another interesting observation is that individual organisms from the same species can have extra genetic material. Most of these "extra genes" occur at the periphery of the chromosome (the telomer region), which lends support to the theory that these areas are very important in evolution.

Krister Svahn | idw
Further information:
http://www.science.gu.se
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature07743.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment
17.10.2017 | McMaster University

nachricht Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes
17.10.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>