Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How did animals inhabit in the sand?

24.07.2015

By using annelid worms as an example a team of researchers led by PD Dr. Torsten H. Struck, scientist at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig – Leibniz-Institute for Animal Biodiversity (ZFMK) in Bonn, proves that the fauna of the interstitial system has two evolutionary paths. Now in the well-known journal Current Biology published data show, that the findings refute the currently favored hypothesis that animals in the sand evolved almost by progenetic evolution (bringing forward the onset of sexual maturity by evolutionary mechanisms).

The new results show, that miniaturization (reduction of the body size of adult individuals in the course of time) was as well one of the driving forces of evolution in this case. The researchers clarified the processes by using modern biomolecular and genetic techniques, which involved the analysis of 679 genes.


Ringed worm of the genus Protodrilus normally living in the interstitial system

Copyright: Dr. T. Struck

Till the beginning of the 20th century it was assumed that no animals lived in beaches or other marine sediments. The zoologist Remane from Kiel showed, that there is a rich community of so-called interstitial species in the space between the sand grains. These species are correspondingly simple build and small with maximal few millimeters of length. Such animals are found in nearly all groups of invertebrates, but their origin is often unknown.

For many it has been assumed, that they exhibit the ancestral organization for these invertebrates. Alternatively, it is assumed, that they are derived from larger animals. Thereby, progenetic evolution is favored. In this scenario larval and juvenile stages of larger ancestors, which temporarily inhabit the sand, become sexually mature and arrest their further development of the body. Thus, a permanent inhabitation of the sand is achieved. A third, often-neglected alternative is the evolution by stepwise reduction and simplification of adult stages of larger ancestors, known as miniaturization.

Lead by researchers from the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig the evolution of such interstitial species was investigated using ringed worms as an example. Ringed worms or Annelida are a very diverse group of animals with more than 15000 species.

„Ringed worms are one of the dominant benthic animal groups in the marine environment and especially in the deep sea. However, they can also be found in your own garden or at a practitioner as earthworms or leeches are also annelids«, explains PD Dr. Torsten H. Struck.

In this new study, which has been published this week in the well renowned scientific journal Current Biology, Struck and co-authors investigated the relationships of such interstitial species within Annelida with the aid of transcriptomic libraries. In such libraries mRNAs of cells are determined. mRNA is a intermediate product in the translation of gen information to a protein. Based on 679 genes they were able to reconstruct the relationships and evolution of interstitial species.

»Our study shows, that the interstitial species originated not only by progenetic evolution as has been assumed in the last decades« explained Struck. Rather miniaturization of larger ancestors plays an important part in the permanent inhabitation of the interstitial realm. Miniaturization is often not considered in other animal groups as well as longer times in evolution are assumed. These results show, that besides an ancestral inhabitation of the interstitial realm and progenetic evolution miniaturization should be taken into account more often also in other animal groups.

Source: Torsten H. Struck, Anja Golombek, Anne Weigert, Franziska A. Franke, Wilfried Westheide, Günter Purschke, Christoph Bleidorn, Kenneth M. Halanych: The evolution of annelids reveals two adaptive routes to the interstitial realm. Current Biology

Url: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.06.007

Contact:

PD Dr. Torsten Struck
Stipendiat des Heisenberg-Programms (DFG)
Tel: +49 228 9122-401
Fax: +49 228 9122-212
Mail: torsten.struck.zfmk@uni-bonn.de


Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig – Leibniz-Institute for Animal Biodiversity (ZFMK) is an independent research institute. The focus of research is on performing an inventory of the zoological species diversity on earth, on the analysis of changes in biodiversity as a result of environmental factors, and on evolutionary processes at the morphological and molecular levels. ZFMK furthermore explores the context of structure and function of ecological systems, advanced scientific methods, and the study of the history of science. The permanent exhibition “Our blue planet – the living network” offers a genuine nature experience based on naturalistic ecosystem displays.

The Leibniz Association is a network of 89 scientifically, legally, and economically independent research institutes and scientific service facilities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance while striving to find scientific solutions for major social challenges.

Weitere Informationen:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.06.007

Sabine Heine | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rochester scientists discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates
23.04.2018 | University of Rochester

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>