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First evidence that the genome can adapt to temperature changes
Date:6/5/2013

sensitive to the heatwave and those that were resistant to it was extremely high: during the heatwave, flies carrying genomic variants tolerant to the temperature increase left on average five times more descendents than those with variants that were sensitive to these changes.

It was also observed that, after the heatwave, the populations recovered their previous genetic make-up. This shows that some organisms possess high genetic resilience to this type of environmental disturbance.

"Our results indicate that resistance to heat has a genetic origin. However, we are not suggesting there is a gene for cold or a gene for heat, but rather that genetic factors for heat resistance are distributed throughout the genome, in these organisms at least", points out Francisco Rodriguez-Trelles, the UAB researcher who coordinated the study. "Our findings are substantial proof that the rise in temperature is affecting the evolution of certain species".


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Contact: Octavi López Coronado
octavi.lopez@uab.cat
34-935-813-301
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Source:Eurekalert

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