Navigation Links
Gene exchange common among sex-manipulating bacteria
Date:3/25/2009

Certain bacteria have learned to manipulate the proportion of females and males in insect populations. Now Uppsala University researchers have mapped the entire genome of a bacterium that infects a close relative of the fruit fly. The findings, published in PNAS, reveal extremely high frequencies of gene exchange within this group of bacteria. In the future it is hoped that it will be possible to use sex-manipulating bacteria as environmentally friendly pesticides against harmful insects.

Bacteria belonging to the Wolbachia group are adapted to invertebrate animals such as insects, spiders, scorpions, and worms. These bacteria spread via the female's eggs from one generation to the next and manipulate the sex quotas among the infected animals so that more females are produced in the population. Mechanically speaking, the bacteria convert genetic males into females or kill male embryos that are then eaten by their sisters or make females lay unfertilized eggs that all become females. However, what happens most commonly is that the males cannot reproduce with non-infected females. This gives the infected females a great advantage, and the infection spreads rapidly among the population.

The studies of the whole genome have shown that these bacteria carry genes that are common among higher organisms, but rare among other bacteria. The scientists believe that the bacteria have stolen these genes from the genome in the host cell and that they now use them to manipulate the sex quotas among the insects.

"With the help of viruses, these bacteria exchange genes with each other, which leads to a rapid dissemination of genes that are thought to be important for sex manipulation," says Lisa Klasson, one of the researchers behind the study.

The researchers have shown that the genomes of these bacteria are evolutionary mosaics, with DNA pieces from many closely related bacteria. The effect is that each gene has its own evolutionary history and that the potential for variation is infinite.

"It's fascinating that bacteria, with only 1,000 genes, can control complicated developmental processes and behaviors in insects," says Siv Andersson.

By mapping how the genes in these bacteria change over time and figuring out the mechanisms behind sex manipulation, scientists will be able to lay a foundation for finding new pesticides for insects, based on nature's own principles.


'/>"/>

Contact: Siv Andersson
Siv.Andersson@ebc.uu.se
46-018-471-4379
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. e-Smart Technologies, Inc. Responds to Information Subpoenas From Securities & Exchange Commission
2. UC San Diego begins trading greenhouse gas credits on Chicago Climate Exchange
3. Regional Law Enforcement Data Exchange System Expands
4. Risk of common vaginal infection linked to preterm birth appears higher for blacks
5. Features of replication suggest viruses have common themes, vulnerabilities
6. Genetics determine optimal drug dose of common anticoagulant
7. All eukaryotic kinases share 1 common set of substrates
8. 60 second test could help early diagnosis of common brain diseases
9. Soy isoflavone may inhibit common gastrointestinal illness in infants
10. The importance of gene regulation for common human disease
11. Genes and environment grant funds close look at nature-nurture overlap in common diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution ... Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving ... The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy ... in February and will run until May 2016. --> ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016 Nigeria ... that more than 23,000 public service employees either did ... receiving their salary unlawfully.    --> ... identified that more than 23,000 public service employees either ... been receiving their salary unlawfully.    --> ...
(Date:3/8/2016)...   Valencell , the leading innovator in ... secured $11M in Series D financing. The investment ... fund being launched by UAE-based financial services company ... TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua Fund. Valencell plans ... growth and accelerate its pioneering innovation in accurate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 03, ... ... and NeuroTech NYC , the sensor and data driven conferences, will take ... include:, UnitedHealth's Vidya Raman-Tangella on incorporating technology -- ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Dr. Thomas P. McHugh , an ... The Woodlands, Texas , now offers SculpSure, the ... fat cells in just 25-minutes, leaving a slimmer figure ... of Americans report feeling bothered by excess weight and ... are a growing industry. This innovative new approach to ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Los Angeles, Calif (PRWEB) , ... May 03, ... ... network of industry leading fertility clinics and IVF laboratories. A contingency of reproductive ... Fertility™ to treat men and women experiencing infertility and to help them build ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... with its clients in mind, the fresh look and added functionality give the ... “Recent years have seen a dynamic shift in agriculture – from precision farming ...
Breaking Biology Technology: