Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The cooperative view: New evidence suggests a symbiogenetic origin for the centrosome

08.05.2008
There are two ways in which cooperation is the theme of a paper published this week by Mark Alliegro and Mary Anne Alliegro, scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory’s (MBL) Josephine Bay Paul Center.

One is revealed in the paper’s acknowledgements, where the Alliegros thank those who helped them after Hurricane Katrina completely disrupted their laboratory at Louisiana State University (LSU) in New Orleans – and their lives – in 2005.

The second is the paper’s scientific theme: the origin of the centrosome, a component of animal cells that functions in cell division. In their paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Alliegros give evidence that the centrosome evolved through symbiogenesis – in which previously independent organisms fuse, become mutually dependent, and over time, become a single composite organism — rather than by the evolutionary process of random, heritable mutations and natural selection.

The Alliegros moved to the MBL permanently in September 2007, after two years of attempting to forge on in a devastated New Orleans. “We realized, if we stayed there, our research program would not survive,” says Mark Alliegro, who was a professor at LSU Health Sciences Center.

... more about:
»Alliegro »Origin »RNA »centrosome »genes

The origin of the centrosome, their paper points out, has been controversial for many years. The theory of symbiogenesis as a mechanism of evolution has also stirred debate since it was introduced in the 1920s and subsequently elaborated in the 1960s by Lynn Margulis of University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Today, only two cellular components – the mitochondria and the chloroplasts – are generally accepted by evolutionary biologists as having a symbiogenetic origin. The Alliegros’ paper suggests that centrosomes are another likely candidate.

They base their argument on evidence that the centrosomes, which they obtained from the eggs of the surf clam Spisula, contain RNA that is likely a remnant of a once-independent, simpler genome that was incorporated by symbiosis.

“Most animal genes have introns, regions that are transcribed into RNA but then spliced out,” says Alliegro. “But if you look at viral genes or bacterial genes, they have little or no introns. It turns out the genes for Spisula centrosomal RNAs have few or no introns. They are a special set of RNAs that derived from intron-poor or intron-less genes, which may very well support the idea that they come from a simpler organism, like a virus or bacteria.”

The Alliegros lost their RNA library due to Katrina, and in their paper they acknowledge Gloria Giarratano of LSU Health Sciences Center, who helped them re-clone the library from DNA they recovered in the hurricane’s aftermath. They also thank Bruce and Sharon Waddell of Slidell, Louisiana, in whose home they lived after Katrina, and where “our laboratory was resurrected in part from the dining room table”; as well as Carol Burdsal and other colleagues at Tulane University, where they temporarily set up a new lab.

Robert Palazzo of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a longtime visiting investigator at the MBL, is acknowledged for providing the centrosome preparation for the original RNA extractions as well as advice and encouragement. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health as well as post-Katrina emergency recovery funds from the Society for Developmental Biology.

Diana Kenney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mbl.edu

Further reports about: Alliegro Origin RNA centrosome genes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
15.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

nachricht How the gut ‘talks’ to brown fat
16.11.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
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

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>