Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hidden sex life of an early eukaryote revealed

26.01.2005


By looking for genes necessary for sexual reproduction, researchers have uncovered evidence that eukaryotic cells have been capable of sex for a very long time. Recent evolutionary analyses of the genome of Giardia intestinalis, a unicellular protist parasite that represents an ancient, early-branching lineage of eukaryotes, has revealed the presence of numerous genes implicated in meiosis, the cellular division process that results in gametes.



Most eukaryotes are known to exhibit sexual reproduction and meiosis, but such processes are unknown in some single-celled protists (protozoa). Despite more than a century of study, Giardia intestinalis was not known to have a sex life. Because Giardia is thought to be a modern representative of one of the earliest diverging eukaryotic lineages, it was simply suspected to have never acquired meiosis. However, the inability to observe processes does not necessarily mean that they are not present.

In this new work, John Logsdon of the University of Iowa and colleagues Marilee Ramesh and Banoo Malik (all previously at Emory University) surveyed the genome sequence of Giardia. In this genome, Logsdon and colleagues found clear evidence for meiosis in Giardia: five genes that encode meiosis-specific proteins broadly in other eukaryotes are also present in Giardia. These data suggest that Giardia is capable of sex and that the earliest eukaryotes diverged after the advent of this key biological process. This report provides the first clear evidence that meiosis arose very early in eukaryotic evolution, bringing science one step closer to understanding the mystery of sexual evolution.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Shrews shrink in winter and regrow in spring
24.10.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie

nachricht 'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
23.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | 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

 
Latest News

Shrews shrink in winter and regrow in spring

24.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>