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
For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute
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...
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...
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...
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...
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)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy