Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New discovery: Molecular variation in one gene affects the growth of natural populations

27.04.2006


For the first time, ecologists have been able to show that molecular variation in one gene may affect the growth of a population in its natural habitat. Research Professor Ilkka Hanski, University of Helsinki, and Dr Ilik Saccheri, University of Liverpool, UK, discovered that the population growth of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) is affected by the allelic composition of the phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) enzyme. The result challenges previous views according to which allelic variation in populations, and possible consequent differences in individual performance, would be of no significance for population growth.



It has been observed in previous studies on the Glanville fritillary and Colias butterflies that the individuals’ Pgi genotype affects their flight metabolic rate and reproductive performance. The present result proves that these differences between individuals also have repercussions at the population level. The role of Pgi is emphasised by the fact that variation in the other genes studied showed no connection to population growth.

How strongly the differences in Pgi alleles affect population growth depends on ecological factors. The size of the habitat patch and its connectivity to existing populations affect migration and gene flow between populations. The study shows that genetic factors and the structure of the habitat together influence variation in population growth. The results also show that the structure of the habitat and the dynamics of the species in a fragmented habitat maintain variation in the gene encoding for the Pgi enzyme


According to previously held views, populations dynamics in natural populations is mainly influenced by environmental factors and demography, that is birth rate, death rate and migration. Genetic variation and natural selection have been thought to have no direct effect on population growth or a weak effect at most.

Scientists analysed hundreds of well-characterized local populations of the Glanville fritillary in the Åland Islands in Finland, where the butterfly has a large metapopulation that has been studied for 15 years.

Research Professor Ilkka Hanski | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi/press/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>