Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bacterial relationships revealed

16.09.2003


Bacteria are an indiscriminate lot. While most organisms tend to pass their genes on to the next generation of their own species, bacteria often exchange genetic material with totally unrelated species – a process called lateral gene transfer.



That is why skeptics doubted that researchers could ever hope to work out the evolutionary history of bacteria. But now, thanks to the availability of sequenced genomes for groups of related bacteria, and a new analytical approach, researchers at the University of Arizona demonstrate that constructing a bacterial family tree is indeed possible.

Nancy Moran, Emmanuelle Lerat, and Vincent Daubin propose an approach that begins by scouring genomes for a set of genes that serve as reliable indicators of bacterial evolution. This method has important implications for biologists studying the evolutionary history of organisms by establishing a foundation for charting the evolutionary events, such as lateral gene transfer, that shape the structure and substance of genomes.


Bacteria promise to reveal a wealth of information about genomic evolution, because so many clusters of related bacterial genomes have been sequenced--allowing for broad comparative analysis among species--and because their genomes are small and compact.

In this study, the researchers chose the ancient bacterial group called gamma Proteobacteria, an ecologically diverse group (including Escherichia coli and Salmonella species) with the most documented cases of lateral gene transfer and the highest number of species with sequenced genomes.

The results support the ability of their method to reconstruct the important evolutionary events affecting genomes. Their approach promises to elucidate not only the evolution of bacterial genomes but also the diversification of bacterial species – events that have occurred over the course of about a billion years of evolution.

CONTACT:
Nancy A. Moran
Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
phone: 520-621-3581
alternative phone: 520-615-2244
fax: 520-621-9190
e-mail: nmoran@email.arizona.edu

Lerat E. Daubin V, Moran NA (2003): From Gene Trees to Organismal Phylogeny in Prokaryotes: The Case of the g-Proteobacteria. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0000019. Download article PDF at:
http://www.plos.org/downloads/moran.pdf.

The article is published online as a sneak preview to PLoS Biology, the first open-access journal from the Public Library of Science (PLoS). The article will be part of the inaugural issue of the new journal, which will appear online and in print in October 2003. PLoS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource (http://www.plos.org).

Barbara Cohen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plos.org
http://www.plos.org/downloads/moran.pdf

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>