University of Iowa researchers have uncovered evidence of sexual reproduction in a single-celled organism long thought to reproduce asexually, according to a paper published in the January 26, 2005 issue of the journal Current Biology.
The finding by John M. Logsdon, Jr., assistant professor in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Biological Sciences and the Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics, and colleagues from the UI and Roanoke College (Virginia), 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.
The paper, "A Phylogenomic Inventory of Meiotic Genes: Evidence for Sex in Giardia and an Early Eukaryotic Origin of Meiosis," describes their work studying eukaryotes (cells having nuclei, including plants, animals and fungi). By looking for genes necessary for sexual reproduction, the researchers 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 (microbial eukaryote) parasite that represents an early-branching lineage of eukaryotes, has revealed the presence of numerous genes implicated in meiosis -- the cellular division process that results in gametes (haploid reproductive cells).
Gary Galluzzo | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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