Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genome Duplication Drives Evolution of Species

25.09.2018

Polyploid plants have a duplicate set of chromosomes. As a result, large-scale genetic changes are therefore possible in the new species, making it more adaptable in comparison with the parental species, as has now been proven by UZH researchers with rockcress.

Many wild and cultivated plants arise through the combination of two different species. The genome of these so-called polyploid species often consists of a quadruple set of chromosomes - a double set for each parental species - and thus has about twice as many genes as the original species.


Arabidopsis kamchatica

Image: Lucas Mohn, UZH

About 50 years ago, evolutionary biologists postulated that this process drives evolution, leading to new species. Due to the size and complexity of such genomes, however, proving this theory on a genetic level has been difficult.

Evolutionary biological theory confirmed by experiment

An international team of researches headed up by Timothy Paape and Kentaro Shimizu from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies of the University of Zurich (UZH) has now been able to provide the experimental confirmation of this theory.

To do so, the scientists from Switzerland and Japan used plant species Arabidopsis kamchatica, which is part of the rockcress genus. They sequenced the genome of 25 different individuals of the polyploid species from various regions of the world, as well as 18 different individuals of its parental species in order to study its natural genetic diversity.

Genomes sequenced thanks to latest technologies

Arabidopsis kamchatica arose through the natural hybridization of the two parental species A. halleri and A. lyrata between 65,000 and 145,000 years ago. With 450 million base pairs, its genome is somewhat small for a polyploid plant, but still very complex. Using state-of-the-art sequencing methods and technology as well as bioinformatics tools, the researchers were able to determine the genetic sequence of the plant individuals.

Advantageous genetic mutations in addition to spare copies

Due to the large amount of genetic information, A. kamchatica is better equipped to adapt to new environmental conditions. "With these results, we have demonstrated on a molecular-genetic level that genome duplications can positively affect the adaptability of organisms," says plant scientist Timothy Paape. The multiple gene copies enable the plant to assume advantageous mutations while keeping an original copy of important genes.

Astonishing wide spread

The usefulness of the double genome for A. kamchatica can be seen in its wider distribution - at both low and high altitude - compared with its parental plants. Its habitat ranges from Taiwan, Japan and the Russian Far East to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

"Knowing the genomic and evolutionary context also helps us understand how genetic diversity allows plants to adapt to changing environmental conditions," says Kentaro Shimizu. The recently published research was supported by the University Research Priority Program Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems of the University of Zurich.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Timothy Paape, PhD
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
Phone: +41 44 635 49 86
E-mail: tim.paape@ieu.uzh.ch

Prof. Kentaro K. Shimizu, PhD
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
Phone: +41 44 635 67 40
E-mail: kentaro.shimizu@ieu.uzh.ch

Originalpublikation:

Timothy Paape, Roman V. Briskine, Gwyneth Halstead-Nussloch, Heidi E.L. Lischer, Rie Shimizu-Inatsugi, Masaomi Hatakeyama, Kenta Tanaka, Tomoaki Nishiyama, Renat Sabirov, Jun Sese, and Kentaro K. Shimizu. Patterns of polymorphism and selection in the subgenomes of the allopolyploid Arabidopsis kamchatica. Nature Communications. September 25, 2018. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06108-1

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.media.uzh.ch/en.html

Melanie Nyfeler | Universität Zürich

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new molecular player involved in T cell activation
07.12.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht News About a Plant Hormone
07.12.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>