Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A First-Principles Model of Early Evolution

12.07.2007
In a study publishing in PLoS Computational Biology, Shakhnovich et al present a new model of early biological evolution – the first that directly relates the fitness of a population of evolving model organisms to the properties of their proteins.

Key to understanding biological evolution is an important, but elusive, connection, known as the genotype-phenotype relationship, which translates the survival of entire organisms into microscopic selection for particular advantageous genes, or protein sequences. The study of Shakhnovich et al establishes such connections by postulating that the death rate of an organism is determined by the stability of the least stable of their proteins.

The simulation of the model proceeds via random mutations, gene duplication, organism births via replication, and organism deaths.

The authors find that survival of the population is possible only after a ‘’Big Bang’’ when a very small number of advantageous protein structures is suddenly discovered and exponential growth of the population ensues. The subsequent evolution of the Protein Universe occurs as an expansion of this small set of proteins through a duplication and divergence process that accompanies discovery of new proteins. The model resolves one of the key mysteries of molecular evolution – the origin of highly uneven distribution of fold family and gene family sizes in the Protein Universe. It quantitatively reproduces these distributions pointing out their origin in biased post “Big Bang’’ evolutionary dynamics of discovery of new proteins. The number of genes in the evolving organisms depends on the mutation rate, demonstrating the intricate relationship between macroscopic properties of organisms – their genome sizes – and microscopic properties – stabilities – of their proteins.

... more about:
»Evolution »Shakhnovich »organism

The results of the study suggest a plausible comprehensive scenario of emergence and growth of the Protein Universe in early biological evolution.

PLEASE ADD THIS LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://compbiol.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030139

(link will go live on July 13th)

CITATION: Zeldovich KB, Chen P, Shakhnovich BE, Shakhnovich EI (2007) A first-principles model of early evolution: Emergence of gene families, species, and preferred protein folds. PLoS Comput Biol 3(7): e139. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030139

CONTACT:
Eugene Shakhnovich
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology,
Harvard University,
Cambridge,
Massachusetts,
United States of America
eugene@belok.harvard.edu

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ploscompbiol.org

Further reports about: Evolution Shakhnovich organism

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>