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Heat shock protein drives yeast evolution
Date:12/23/2010

sembled each other. But when the Hsp90 reservoir was depleted, the correlation between genotype and phenotype became much stronger.

"We've only looked at a few cases, but in all of them, there was a clear link between Hsp90 activity and phenotype," says Jarosz. "What we show here is that Hsp90's effects are very broad, and it operates on about 20% of all genetic variation in this organism."

For Lindquist, the way Hsp90 is able to affect phenotypes may explain a longstanding mystery of evolution: how an organism could change multiple, interdependent traits in response to environmental changes.

"Taking what had been theory and very isolated incidents that had tremendous potential, we can help explain how organisms can rapidly acquire new traits," says Lindquist, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of biology at MIT. "We can show that the stress of environmental change and selective pressures can actually influence how evolutionary processes occur. And now we have a much more solid framework to hang that on."

Lindquist says she would like to learn more about the fixation process, which makes an Hsp90-reliant trait heritable, even in the absence of stress. By looking at genome sequences, her lab will try to determine whether Hsp90 affects the mechanisms of genome stability or if it perhaps influences the way that organisms accumulate new genetic variation.


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Contact: Nicole Giese
giese@wi.mit.edu
617-258-6851
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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