Navigation Links
'David and Goliath' viruses shed light on the origin of jumping genes: UBC study
Date:3/3/2011

University of British Columbia researchers have identified a small virus that attacks another virus more than 100 times its own size, rescuing the infected zooplankton from certain death. The discovery provides clues to the evolutionary origin of some jumping genes found in other organisms.

The study, by UBC marine microbiologist Curtis Suttle and PhD student Matthias Fischer, is published online today in Science Express. It describes the marine virus Mavirus and its interaction with marine zooplankton Cafeteria roenbergenesis and CroV, the world's largest marine virus.

"It's a microbial version of the David and Goliah story where, after infecting Cafeteria roenbergeneis, Mavirus protects it against infection by CroV, while ensuring its own survival," says Suttle.

Viruses rely on host cells to replicate; in the case of Mavirus, its host is another virus, making it only the second known virophage. It needs CroV to replicate, and in the process suppresses the propagation of CroV.

"What makes this interaction significant to evolutionary biology is that the closest genetic relatives to Mavirus are mobile genetic elements found in single-celled and higher organisms," says Suttle. "This implies that over evolutionary time, organisms have co-opted the DNA from ancient relatives of Mavirus into their own genomes, presumably so that they could acquire immunity against giant viruses like CroV.

Transposons, or jumping genes, are bits of DNA that can move or "transpose" themselves to new positions within an organism's genome. Researchers have suspected that a subset of transposons called Maverick transposons have a viral origin because of the nature of their DNA sequences.

Suttle and Fischer's latest work on Mavirus provides the first concrete evidence of this connection.

"Because they've sequestered the virophage DNA into their own genomes, organisms probably don't need to rely on being infected by a second virus to protect themselves," says Suttle.

Suttle and Fischer previously identified CroV as the world's largest marine virus, with a complex genome that has made it remarkably independent of its host cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Lin
brian.lin@ubc.ca
604-822-2234
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen among 2011 Dan David Prize winners
2. UMCES fisheries biologist Dr. David Secor receives USM Regents Faculty Award for research
3. Leader in genetics, Dr. David L. Rimoin, receives ACMG Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
4. U of As David Schindler confirms untold levels of oil sands pollution on the Athabasca
5. American Society for Microbiology honors David Masopust for research on T cell memory
6. David Rose to present Howe School lecture on new technologies and business models, Jan. 29
7. Protein folding researcher David Baker to receive Sackler Prize in Biophysics
8. David Salt is worth his salt, says Science magazine
9. Using artificial, cell-like honey pots to entrap deadly viruses
10. Drug to fight tumors also fights the flu and possibly other viruses
11. Macavity wasnt there! How absent reoviruses kill cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... March 22, 2016 ... Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, ... Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... to reach USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into ... for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   ... it has secured $1 million in debt financing from ... to ramp up automation and to advance its drug ... for its new facility. "SVB has been ... goes beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: