Navigation Links
Genome of saltwater creature could aid understanding of gene grouping
Date:8/20/2008

HOUSTON (Aug. 20, 2008) The genetic code of a simple saltwater creature could help researchers learn more about how groups of genes function in humans and other species.

A study published this week in the journal Nature breaks down the genetic code of Trichoplax, a simple saltwater creature that one might find anywhere in the world, even in the common household aquarium.

"We're trying to identify, in the Trichoplax, genes that are also found in other animals - our genome and the fruit fly genome and so on," said study co-author Nicholas Putnam, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice University. Recognizing common genes among many species helps scientists figure out their lineage, as well as where they diverge.

What Putnam finds interesting about this saltwater creature is how common some elements of its genetic code are to other classes of life and how that kind of data might help scientists learn the ways groups of genes function.

Why Trichoplax? Sequencing a genome is "a big effort and a big investment, and so we have to choose carefully," Putnam said. "The motivation for choosing this animal was its phylogenetic position" its relatively low place in the evolutionary chain.

Trichoplax is "a tiny little pancake of cells you can barely see without a microscope," he said. "And they're extremely simple about as simple as you can be just a disc of cells that's two layers thick."

Still, humans share elements with the lowly beast that only become evident through charting its DNA. A gene index published as part of the Nature paper, titled "The Trichoplax Genome and the Nature of Placozoans," clearly shows many large collections of genes that group together on both the Trichoplax and human chromosomes.

The chart is very much a product of Putnam's work. Though his doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley is in physics, he found himself pulled into genomics for his computer skills, writing assembly code to make practical the analysis of a genetic sequence.

Putnam came to Rice to continue his search for the common roots of genetic similarities between wildly divergent creatures.

What purpose do these large, conserved groupings of genes serve? "Well, that's one of the main questions I'm going after now that I'm setting up my own lab," he said. "Is there a reason they're together? And if they get separated by a mutation, does that disrupt some mechanism of gene regulation, or cause some other problem for an organism?"

Or, he wondered, is our understanding of the process flawed? It's a big question, he acknowledged.

"But it's a very clear question. And I've decided to try to find the answer to that."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Williams
mikewilliams@rice.edu
713-348-6728
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Unravelling new complexity in the genome
2. Conquest of land began in shark genome
3. One species entire genome discovered inside anothers
4. Genome study shines light on genetic link to height
5. First individual genome sequence published
6. Ultraconserved elements in the genome: Are they indispensable?
7. $10 million gift to support cutting-edge epigenome center at USC
8. Fungus genome yielding answers to protect grains, people and animals
9. Which came first, the chicken genome or the egg genome?
10. Researchers expand efforts to explore functional landscape of the human genome
11. Genome update defines landscape of breast and colon cancers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), ... End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities ... Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), ... you looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 2017 The report "Video Surveillance ... Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was ... projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at ... base year considered for the study is 2016 and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... A recent survey conducted by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) ranks ... of broadleaf crops, fruits and vegetables, while common lambsquarters ranks as the weed most ... the 2016 survey, the second conducted by WSSA. A 2015 baseline survey explored ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating tumor cell (CTC) capture ... using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on May 8th. The ... and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los Angeles. The publication describes ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Customers often prefer PLC and ... again. METTLER TOLEDO has released two new videos that show how they have ... the ACT350 into Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs is easy and fast. ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2017 ... ... support tool that helps avoid the lengthy trial and error process by finding ... patients. It can also strengthen the doctor-patient relationship through a personalized approach ...
Breaking Biology Technology: