Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Changes to embryos can elicit change in adult fish

10.11.2005


Researchers uncover genetic foundation of fish jaws

In a study illustrating the apparent linkages between the evolutionary development and embryonic development of species, researchers have uncovered the genetic elements that determine the structure and function of a simple biomechanical system, the lower jaw of the cichlid fish. In addition, they’ve shown that increasing expression of a particular gene in an embryo can lead to physical changes in the adult fish. The results appear in the November 11, 2005 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We’re using the jaw to think about the genetic basis of biomechanical systems," said J. Todd Streelman, assistant professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "We want to understand the genes that control this lever system. What we found was that this simple biomechanical system is much more complex than previously thought."



Streelman, along with colleagues from the Forsyth Institute at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies at the University of New Hampshire, predicted that components of the jaw that were functionally or developmentally related would be controlled by the same set of genes, or genetically integrated.

"We were surprised to see that the genetic basis of components involved in opening the jaw is independent of the jaw-closing system," said Streelman.

Researchers compared two cichlid species that dwell in Africa’s Lake Malawi. One species had force modified jaws that are more adept at biting prey; the other had speed modified jaws, which are more accomplished at using suction to feed on plankton. Each jaw system is essentially a lever system made up of one out-lever and two in-levers.

"We found that as the closing in-lever gets longer, the out-lever gets shorter and vice-versa," explained Streelman.

"When the in-lever is long, this gives the jaw a high mechanical advantage and the jaw can produce more force for biting. When the out-lever is long, that results in a lower mechanical advantage and a better design for suction-feeding. This negative correlation is produced by genetic integration."

But, when the team mapped the regions of the genome controlling the jaw-opening system, they found that these levers are controlled by different chromosomes.

In another part of the study, researchers showed that the gene bmp4 is a major factor in controlling the jaw-closing system. When the team injected bmp4 protein into the developing embryos of another fish species, the zebrafish, they saw that the mechanical advantage (and thus the biting power) of the jaw increased.

"This experiment fuses the traditional disciplines of developmental genetics and evolutionary biology," said Streelman. "We’ve demonstrated that important functional differences operating in adult organisms are elicited by changes in early development. Our next goal is to understand the genetic bases underlying the differences between the simple biomechanical system of the lower jaw and complex systems of the anterior jaw in these fish."

David Terraso | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

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

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>