Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genome Sequence of Bread Mold Revealed by International Scientific Team, Including Hebrew University Researcher

28.04.2003


The genome sequence of the bread mold Neurospora crassa has been revealed by a group of 77 researchers from seven nations, among them Prof. Oded Yarden of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences.

The achievement, reported in the current issue of Nature magazine, represents a further stage in the history of research on this fungus. A half-century ago, George W. Beadle and Edward L. Tatum won a Nobel Prize for their work on Neurospora, which demonstrated for the first time that specific genes, as units of heredity, also encode the specific proteins that carry out much of the work of the cell.

“This first decoding of the Neurospora genome constitutes a breakthrough in the deeper understanding of the genetic base of this representative of the fungal kingdom. There are consequences as well for other life forms, including that of man,” said Prof. Yarden.



Many of the basic cell processes of fungi are identical to those which take place in animals and humans, a fact which makes it possible to advance research in those life forms. Additionally, it is known that there is a significant number of genes in Neurospora which correspond to human genes. “The ease and speed with which we can conduct experimental work with this fungus will spur research on other genetic frameworks, leading to progress in developing future genetic-based medical treatment,” said Prof. Yarden.

The researchers found that Neurospora has around 10,000 genes – about double that found in bacteria -- as compared to some 14,000 in fruitflies and 21,000-39,0000 in humans. This means that humans are not that far in genetic complexity from the common bread mold.

A point of interest revealed by the scientists is that some 40% of the genes in the Neurospora fungus do not have equivalence in any other organisms. It is possible that future research regarding these genes could lead to development of anti-fungal materials with applications in agriculture and elsewhere, said Prof. Yarden. Genetic engineering techniques could be applied to specific genes, for example, in order to yield improved or new natural materials which could be used in antibiotic medications.

According to Prof. Yarden, there are more than a million types of fungi, found everywhere that life exists. There are those which cause diseases in humans, animals and plants as well as those which are poisonous and which can even be used to create biological weapons. On the other hand, there are many “positive” fungi as well, including those used in creating antibiotics. And there are fungi which function as “factories” for the creation of proteins used in industry, such as in laundry soaps and food products.

A point revealed by the research group is that Neurospora has a number of highly efficient defensive mechanisms which protect it against “foreign” elements, such as viruses or other foreign DNA. A surprise finding in the research was that the Neurospora, which is not a disease-causing fungus, has many genes which are identical to those found in fungi which are parasitical and disease-causing, a fact which poses several questions about the evolution of fungi exhibiting different lifestyles.


For further information: Jerry Barach, Dept. of Media Relations, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 02-5882904; Orit Suliltzeanu, spokesperson, 052-608016

Jerry Barach | Hebrew University

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System

nachricht Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>