Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The genetic differences between yeasts of the same species are greater than those between humans and chimpanzees

13.02.2009
There may be greater genetic variation between different yeasts of the same species than between humans and chimpanzees.

This is one of the findings of a study from the University of Gothenburg that is being published in the scientific journal Nature. This study heralds a new era in evolutionary genetics research - the mapping of an individual's DNA.

The mapping of the entire yeast genome in 1996 marked the beginning of a revolution in biological and medical research. The human genome was mapped in 2001, and by now the number of characterised species is approaching 1000, most of which are bacteria. The next advance is only a few years away - mapping the genetic evolution of individual multicellular animals, including humans.

"We shall then be able to identify the genetic causes of human disease and to understand how the process of evolution works when species are being formed," says Anders Blomberg, professor at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.

Anders Blomberg and his colleague Jonas Warringer are publishing a paper in the highly respected scientific journal Nature, that to some extent leads into a new era in evolutionary and functional genetics research. The lowly yeast is, once again, leading the way.

In collaboration with the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, and the University of Nottingham, the Gothenburg researchers have succeeded in sequencing the DNA and characterising the genome properties (i.e. phenotypes) of 70 different individual organisms from two different species of yeast - the common brewer's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its evolutionary cousin Saccharomyces paradoxus. The paper presents several interesting conclusions, e.g. that human alcohol consumption has altered yeast DNA.

"As humans transported wine and beer yeasts around the world, different yeasts have mated and recombined, so that the strains of today carry gene variants from various parts of the world. This mosaic pattern is not at all visible in our studies of another yeast that has not been exploited by humans," says Anders Blomberg.

The study also shows that there can be greater genetic differences between individuals within a particular species of yeast than there are between humans and chimpanzees. The DNA of individual yeast organisms can vary by up to 4 per cent, compared to the 1 per cent difference between the DNA of humans and chimpanzees.

Another interesting observation is that individual organisms from the same species can have extra genetic material. Most of these "extra genes" occur at the periphery of the chromosome (the telomer region), which lends support to the theory that these areas are very important in evolution.

Krister Svahn | idw
Further information:
http://www.science.gu.se
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature07743.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties

20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>