Navigation Links
A mammoth task -- sorting out mammoth evolution
Date:5/30/2011

Mammoths were a diverse genus that roamed across Eurasia and North America during the Pleistocene era. In continental North America, at least two highly divergent species have long been recognized woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) and Columbian mammoths (M. columbi). But new genetic evidence published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology suggests that these species may have been closely related enough to mate when they had the chance.

Remains of woolly mammoths have been found across the glacial tundra-steppe of Eurasia and northern North America, while the much physically larger Columbian mammoths inhabited the savannah environments of temperate southern and central North America. The differences between the species have long been considered as unique adaptations to the environments where they evolved. But by piecing together trace fragments of DNA from an 11 thousand year-old Columbian mammoth from Fairview, Utah, a team of Canadian, American and French researchers found that surprisingly the mitochondrial genome from this mammoth was nearly indiscernible from that of its northern woolly counterparts.

But the group does not suspect that this requires a re-write of North American mammoth evolution. "We think this individual may have been a woolly-Columbian hybrid," says Jacob Enk of the McMaster Ancient DNA Centre, the group that led the research. "Living African elephant species interbreed where their ranges adjoin, with males of the bigger species out-competing the smaller for mates. This results in mitochondrial genomes from the smaller species showing up in populations of the larger. Since woolly and Columbian ranges periodically overlapped in time and space, it's likely that they engaged in similar behaviour and left a similar genetic signal." The team goes on to suggest that interbreeding may explain some mammoth fossils that have intermediate physical characteristics, between woollies and Columbians, sometimes assigned to the species M. jeffersonii.

They do not rule out other explanations however, and note that the only way to know for sure whether their mammoth was a hybrid is to sequence nuclear DNA from it and other mammoths. For poorly-preserved remains like those of southern-ranging Columbians, this will be a challenge. But they expect that by exploiting new cutting-edge sequencing technologies, the nuclear genomes of these amazing animals are within reach.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22370
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Being good moms couldnt save the woolly mammoth
2. Dwindling green pastures, not hunting, may have killed off the mammoth
3. Extinction of woolly mammoths may have been due to addition of a predator: Humans
4. Trophic cascades of disruption may include loss of woolly mammoth, saber-toothed cat
5. After mastodons and mammoths, a transformed landscape
6. New discovery suggests mammoths survived in Britain until 14,000 years ago
7. Sorting device for analyzing biological reactions puts the power of a lab in a researcher’s pocket
8. Sorting the drivers from the passengers in the cancer genome
9. Genetic study clarifies evolutionary origin of elusive montane red fox
10. Study shows evolutionary adaptations can be reversed, but rarely
11. Selaginella genome adds piece to plant evolutionary puzzle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual Global Healthcare Conference at ... 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ... accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  The webcast will be ... Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com . ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... JACKSONVILLE, Fla. , Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company specializing in the ... vaccines for the treatment of cancer and metastatic ... multi-gram scale-up and GMP manufacturing of a second ... T-cell vaccine targeting folate receptor alpha. The manufactured ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... FRANCISCO , Jan. 30, 2017   Invitae ... the fastest growing genetic information companies, today announced that ... financial results and provide 2017 guidance on Monday, February ... conference call that day at 4:45 p.m. Eastern / ... Invitae,s management team will briefly review financial results, guidance, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... RADNOR, Pa., Feb. 24, 2017  VWR Corporation (NASDAQ: VWR), ... to laboratory and production customers, today reported its financial results ... 2016. Highlights: 4Q16 record ... up 1.0% on an organic basis. ... on an organic basis, while the Americas net sales increased ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Financial ... data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months Ended December ... $           300$ ... Net Product Revenue 3539(10)%9498(4)%Kuvan Net ... Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net Product Revenue ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced ... for two key immunotherapy technologies from the University ... provides a method to monitor a patient for ... PD-L1 and CTLA-4.  The second license extends the ... patient is likely to have an immune-related adverse ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced ... of oncolytic vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These ... of Genelux,s proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for ... enter into a partnership with Genelux to offer ... viruses for use in research," said Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: