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Evolutionary process more detailed than previously believed, study shows
Date:1/16/2009

t, Kao said. This is especially important as scientists work to enhance microorganisms so that they possess a higher tolerance to the products they produce, Kao said.

For example, a microorganism might be genetically enhanced to produce butanol as a potential biofuel, she said. The problem however, Kao explained, is these microorganisms generally have a low tolerance to butanol, and at very low concentrations they will start to die from what they are producing.

One way to address this problem is to evolve these microorganisms into forms with a higher tolerance, Kao noted. By examining the entire evolutionary process of such a microorganism, scientists could discover a once-overlooked beneficial adaptation that arose somewhere along the way that would help enhance tolerance. That adaptation might otherwise not be apparent if only the current generation of the microorganism is examined, she said.


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Contact: Katy Kao
Katy@chemail.tamu.edu
979-845-5571
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

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