Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes behind animal growth discovered

30.01.2007
An advance in genomics, the ID of growth genes in oysters has relevance for farming and aquaculture

How many genes influence a complex trait, like weight, height or body type?

And why does the answer matter?

Among other reasons, because the "Green Revolution" that multiplied crop yields has to be followed by a "Blue Revolution" in ocean farming, according to marine biologists at the University of Southern California.

... more about:
»Animal »Manahan »genes »vigor

"We’re going to have to make future decisions as a society how to provide enough food for a growing population," said Donal Manahan, co-author of a study on oyster growth appearing online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

Currently a delicacy, oysters fed the masses in the past and could again become "the soy bean of the sea" as traditional fisheries collapse, Manahan predicted.

He and senior author Dennis Hedgecock linked growth rate in oysters to approximately 350 genes, or 1.5 percent of the more than 20,000 genes in the oyster genome.

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first estimate of the number of genes that determine growth rate in any animal.

Specifically, the authors discovered the genes responsible for "hybrid vigor," or the ability of some children of crossbreeding to outgrow both parents. Hybrid vigor is of evolutionary as well as agricultural interest because it appears to favor biodiversity.

Many plants have hybrid vigor. Seed companies exploited this property to increase corn yields seven-fold from the 1920s to the present.

Most animals do not express hybrid vigor to such an extent, the authors said. That makes oysters particularly strong candidates for aquaculture.

"Their hybrids grow much faster than either of the parents. And this is exactly like corn," Manahan said.

The PNAS study may lead to improved breeding both on land and sea. The green revolution worked by trial and error, with companies trying every possible cross of corn strains to find the best hybrids.

"A century after its discovery in corn, we still don’t know why plants have hybrid vigor, despite the economic and evolutionary importance of this phenomenon," Hedgecock explained.

Knowing the genes for hybrid vigor may enable companies to develop the best cross of corn strains, or oyster types, without guesswork.

The lines would not be genetically modified, only screened and matched as in a dating service.

The goal is efficient and sustainable domestication of oysters and other promising ocean species, mostly shellfish. Oysters already are the number one farmed aquatic species worldwide.

Aquaculture of large fish remains environmentally challenging, Manahan and Hedgecock noted.

Another problem is the apparent lack of hybrid vigor in most fish. Even in oysters, the researchers found the rules of hybrid vigor to be more complicated than predicted by classical ideas in genetics and physiology.

For example, some genes were expressed much less in the offspring than in either parent, a pattern the authors call "underdominance." Very few genes were expressed as the average of the expression in their parents.

Hedgecock called the underdominance patterns "one of the more surprising findings" of the study.

Carl Marziali | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

Further reports about: Animal Manahan genes vigor

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>