Navigation Links
Aphids evolved special, surprising talents
Date:4/29/2010

Contrary to popular belief, aphids are not just sap-sucking, plant-destroying enemies of agriculture. In fact, these pests are genetic pioneers that evolved two unique traits, according to a study that appears in the April 30 issue of the journal Science.

First, aphids are, so far, the only animal known to produce essential pigments known as carotenoids. The aphid's pigment-producing ability is unique to the animal kingdom. Other animals, including humans, that need carotenoids cannot produce these essentials themselves; instead, they must obtain carotenoids from food.

Why are carotenoids needed by many plants and animals? Because they provide vital support to varied functions, ranging from promoting immunity to reducing cell damage and providing color to fruits and vegetables. For example, carotenoids give tomatoes their red color and flamingoes their pink color. Carotenoids also determine whether aphids are red or green--a color distinction that influences their vulnerabiilty to predators and other threats.

As for the second unique trait, aphids probably acquired their carotenoid-producing ability through a rare, and perhaps unique, process: millions of years ago, aphids apparently "snatched" carotenoid-producing genes from a carotenoid-producing member of the fungi kingdom, and then snapped those snatched genes into their own genetic code.

Gene transfer between organisms is not itself a rare phenomenon. However, the fungi-to-aphid gene transfer is the only known gene transfer between members of the fungi kingdom and animal kingdom--which are so evolutionarily distant from one another that it was long thought that never the twain would genetically meet.

But by busting through kingdom barriers, aphids gained something akin to a "genetic magic wand" that empowered them to produce their own carotenoids. They were thereby freed of the need to scavenge for carotenoid-yielding foods. The result: one less chore
'/>"/>

Contact: Lily Whiteman
lwhitema@nsf.gov
703-292-8310
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Discovering soybean plants resistant to aphids and a new aphid
2. Aphids are sentinels of climate change
3. Transgenic maize is more susceptible to aphids
4. New discovery suggests trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator
5. American carnivores evolved to avoid each other, new study suggests
6. From seed to nuts: human ancestors face evolved to eat survival foods
7. Evolved Machines Selected as a Prime Contractor for DARPA Program to Engineer an Artificial Olfaction System
8. Study says eyes evolved for X-Ray vision
9. From humming fish to Puccini: Vocal communication evolved with ancient species
10. New study shows shallow water corals evolved from deep sea ancestors
11. Decoding the dictionary: Study suggests lexicon evolved to fit in the brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/19/2014)... Calif. , Dec. 18, 2014  23andMe, Inc., ... of a study that pinpoints fine-scale differences in genetic ... States . Since immigrants first arrived ... United States has served as a meeting ... how American history and the ongoing mixing of peoples ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... 15, 2014 Research and Markets ... the "Samsung Galaxy S5 - Home Button ... their offering. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 ... sensing technology than the iPhone 5S, Samsung introduces ... its product. The Galaxy S5 home ...
(Date:12/17/2014)...  HITLAB SM announced today its completion ... confirm its adherence to current U.S. Food and ... to conduct regulated smart device and smart phone ... safety and research quality. "HITLAB is ... delivery with innovative technology," said Laura Pugliese ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):23andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 223andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 323andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 4Samsung Galaxy S5 - Home Button Synaptics Fingerprint Sensor Technology Analysis 2HITLAB Completes GCP Audit for FDA Smart Device & App Compliance 2
... infectious question about eating at restaurants: How clean are ... found that even when they washed dishes in cooler-than-recommended ... levels accepted in the Food and Drug Administration's Food ... milk—can be safe havens for bacteria when dried onto ...
... What influence does the variation in estrogen level ... Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Jean-Claude Dreher, a ... 1), in collaboration with an American team from ... directed by Karen Berman, has identified, for the ...
... patients who received an new intravenous adult stem cell ... such as cardiac arrhythmias, and had significant improvements in ... received a placebo, according to six-month Phase I study ... in Intervention: i2Summit in New Orleans on March 25. ...
Cached Biology News:Manual dishwashing study digs up dirt on dish cleanliness 2Manual dishwashing study digs up dirt on dish cleanliness 3The influence of the menstrual cycle on the female brain 2The influence of the menstrual cycle on the female brain 3The influence of the menstrual cycle on the female brain 4Stem cell therapy shows promise in regenerating damaged muscle in heart attack patients 2
(Date:12/24/2014)... -- China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO, "China ... plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China ... Taibang Biological Products Co. Ltd., has received Good ... and Drug Administration (the "CFDA") for its new ... the Company,s public filings, the CFDA inspected this ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... -- PharmaBoardroom,s new report, , Healthcare ... for free download , digs deep into this vibrant ... the sector today. One area where ... developing a homegrown pharmaceutical manufacturing base, even if the government,s ... way off. A cursory comparison with neighboring Morocco ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Fla. , Dec. 23, 2014  Rock Creek ... that it has filed a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) ... Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seeking regulatory approval to ... lead molecule, Anatabine Citrate. Contingent on the ... conduct a Phase I trial to assess the safety, ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... Brussels (PRWEB) December 22, 2014 The ... the global leader of technical training across the life ... Clinical Data Management (SCDM) to provide the organization's ... certification programs —providing access to the more than 350 ... SCDM members with 10% off when registering for a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:China Biologic Receives GMP Certification for New Coagulation Factor Facility 2China Biologic Receives GMP Certification for New Coagulation Factor Facility 3PharmaBoardroom Releases New Algeria Pharmaceuticals Report 2PharmaBoardroom Releases New Algeria Pharmaceuticals Report 3Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Files Clinical Trial Application in the UK for Clinical Trials of Anatabine Citrate Formulations 2Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Files Clinical Trial Application in the UK for Clinical Trials of Anatabine Citrate Formulations 3CfPIE Announces Partnership with the Society for Clinical Data Management 2CfPIE Announces Partnership with the Society for Clinical Data Management 3
... 25 Inverness Medical,Innovations, Inc. (Amex: IMA ... products for the consumer and professional markets, announced,today ... Global Healthcare,Unplugged Conference being held April 30 - ... Florida. Ron Zwanziger, Chief Executive Officer, will,attend. His ...
... 25 Abbott,s broad,portfolio of businesses and expanding ... product pipeline provides a,foundation for continued growth as ... Chief Executive Officer Miles D.,White told shareholders today ... an outstanding year for Abbott across all of ...
... -- China Yingxia,International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ... provider in the nutraceutical industry engaged in ... food,products, supplements, and personal care products in ... that it has formally completed the,acquisition of ...
Cached Biology Technology:Abbott Annual Meeting Highlights Outstanding 2007 Results, International Growth and Near-Term Pipeline 2Abbott Annual Meeting Highlights Outstanding 2007 Results, International Growth and Near-Term Pipeline 3Abbott Annual Meeting Highlights Outstanding 2007 Results, International Growth and Near-Term Pipeline 4China Yingxia International, Inc. Acquires Grocery Chain and Online Distribution Network 2China Yingxia International, Inc. Acquires Grocery Chain and Online Distribution Network 3
Request Info...
Ultra-sensitive, non-radioactive measurement of COX-I and COX-II activity...
Recombinant Ovine (Sheep) Growth Hormone, Ultra Pure...
Mouse Granzyme D MAb (Clone 190617)...
Biology Products: