Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Rhythmic genomics -- the yeast metronome and the walk of life

New genome sequence information from the humble baker's yeast has revealed surprising variation in a set of genes that can be thought of as nature's oldest clock. In a paper published in Genome Research scientists show how ribosomal RNA genes that are essential to all Earth's organisms provide insight into how genomes maintain their integrity on their evolutionary journey.

Ribosomal RNA sequence changes have been ticking away like clockwork for over 3 billion years, maybe even pre-dating the origin of the DNA world itself. However, even the slightest changes in sequence of these genes can be fatal. It is vital to conserve the important genetic 'cogs' to make sure cells function correctly. However, significant changes do occur, contrary to expectation, and yet the yeast somehow still survives.

Furthermore, when two yeasts hybridise the clocks appear to re-set, apparently overwriting each others' rhythm and eliminating unwanted variations on the theme. This provides clues as to how key motifs are conserved and allows us to track the evolutionary history of hybrids.

Steve James, lead researcher at the Institute of Food Research (IFR), said "I have sequenced these genes to selectively identify yeast species for over 15 years and had no idea they would turn out to be so variable."

Rob Davey, computational biologist at the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC), said "we can use new computer techniques to model the changes mathematically and really get to grips with what orchestrates the variation in these important cell housekeepers."

Ian Roberts, Curator of NCYC, said "Yeasts are everywhere around us in nature and industry. This extra level of detail allows us to resolve important differences between yeasts and gain maximum benefits from their use in food, drink and healthcare."

This work was carried out in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The IFR is an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).


IFR Press Office
Zoe Dunford, Tel: 01603 255111, email:
Andrew Chapple, Tel: 01603 251490, email:

Andrew Chapple | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>