Navigation Links
Animals that seem identical may be completely different species
Date:4/22/2009

Animals that seem identical may belong to completely different species. This is the conclusion of researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who have used DNA analyses to discover that one of our most common segmented worms is actually two types of worm. The result is one of many suggesting that the variety of species on the earth could be considerably larger than we thought. "We could be talking about a large number of species that have existed undiscovered because they resemble other known species," says Professor Christer Ersus.

The segmented worms that were studied by Christer Ersus, doctoral student Daniel Gustavsson and their American colleague, are identical in appearance. From the very first time that they were described, they have been treated as the same species, and they are also found together in freshwater environments in North America, Sweden and the rest of Europe.

But when the researchers examined the worms using advanced methods for DNA analysis, they discovered that they were in fact two different species. Both species of worm differ in one of the examined genes by 17 percent, which is twice as much as the equivalent difference between humans and chimpanzees.

The research results, which are being published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, could have major consequences. For example, the worms are frequently used for laboratory testing around the world, to examine the effects of environmental toxins.

"Different species have different characteristics. If it emerged that these two species differ in terms of their tolerance towards certain toxins, then it could be difficult to make comparisons between different studies," says Christer Ersus.

And as this advanced DNA technology is tested increasingly within various animal groups, it could, according to Christer Ersus, mean that our perception of the earth's biodiversity may need to be revised. "There could be ten times as many species in total, compared with what we previously thought," he says.

The new species of worm has not yet been given a name, since researchers have not yet decided which of the two will keep the old name, Lumbriculus variegatus.


'/>"/>

Contact: Krister Svahn
krister.svahn@science.gu.se
46-073-209-6339
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. The life histories of the earliest land animals
2. Why dont more animals change their sex?
3. Grazing animals help spread plant disease
4. Novel technique for fluorescence tomography of tumors in living animals
5. Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed
6. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
7. Gene associated with pair-bonding in animals has similar effects in human males
8. Using networks to map the social lives of animals
9. Big-brained animals evolve faster
10. Closing the gap between fish and land animals
11. Genomics of large marine animals showcased in the biological bulletin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Animals that seem identical may be completely different species
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... Lawrence, MA (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... completed ILVO validation. The AMPH test was determined to be appropriate as a screening ... for visual interpretation, on the Charm EZ system, and the Charm EZ Lite system. ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... ... National executive search firm, Slone Partners, announces the placement ... expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs at Cambridge Biomedical. , Established in ... sample testing services. The organization acts as a leading provider of customized assays ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting has ... years. One of the biggest challenges faced by life sciences, biotech and pharmaceuticals companies ... team is Kati Abraham , who is well known in the industry and ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... New resistant soybean ... options for managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds resistant to glyphosate. But ... necessary. Auxin herbicides are known to drift and to cause harm to sensitive, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: