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 A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>