Navigation Links
Mice roar message: genetic change happens fast
Date:10/19/2007

While looks can be deceiving, heredity is revealing, and two scientists who've studied the genetic makeup of a common field mouse report that what's most revealing to them is how fast both genes and morphology can change.

Oliver Pergams, visiting research assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Robert Lacy, population geneticist and conservation biologist at the Chicago Zoological Society, compared the genetic makeup of 115 white-footed mice in the Volo Bog State Natural Area northwest of Chicago using mitochondrial DNA taken from collection samples as old as 150 years and mice collected in recent years.

They found a new type of mouse replaced the old type in Volo Bog between 1976 and 2001.

"The new mice were genetically very different," says Pergams. Structural changes were readily apparent. "Looking at size and shape, the new mice were much bigger and a little flatter."

Pergams and Lacy report the findings in Molecular Ecology, Volume 17, now online, and in print in late December.

Pergams and UIC biological sciences professor Mary Ashley reported in 2001 on similar morphological changes in size and shape over the past century of two widely disparate habitats and species -- deer mice on three different California Channel Islands, and black rats from two Galapagos Islands. While Pergams found these coincidental changes surprising, he said it is too soon to say if this is somehow related to world climate change.

Pergams said the Volo Bog change is best explained by the old mice being replaced by new mice migrating from distinct neighboring populations that are better adapted to survival in the protected bog, which is now surrounded by suburban residential communities.

"This was likely helped by the large environmental changes occurring over the 1976-2001 time period. Replacement with better-adapted genotypes from external populations may be a common way evolution works in an increasingly human-impacted world," Pergams said.

Lacy studies and compares changes of Volo Bog mice both in the wild and in subsequent generations of their offspring raised in his laboratory.

"It was surprising to us to see how fast genetic and physical change could occur even in the wild population," he said.

Pergams said a lesson of the surprisingly fast replacement of the mouse types is not to assume that animal populations are constant. He also said there's a message for environmentalists.

"Humans are changing the global environment at unprecedented rates," he said. "Plants and animals react to these massive environmental changes either by going extinct or [by] adapting very rapidly."


'/>"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
2. Its not all genetic: Common epigenetic problem doubles cancer risk in mice
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
5. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
6. Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference
7. Ants Genetic Engineering Leads To Species Interdependency
8. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
9. Genetic Variation Visualization - From EMBL
10. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
11. Key mechanism in genetic inheritance during cell division identified
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... March 22, 2016 Unique ... passcodes for superior security   ... provider of secure digital communications services, today announced it ... and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial ... and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... , March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ... mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new series ... the week of March 21 st .  The commercials will ... its popular Squawk on the Street show. --> ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a ...
(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. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Founder of ... board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand by the National Board of ... to going above and beyond in his pursuit of providing the most comprehensive, ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Biohaven ... Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug designation request covering BHV-4157 for ... designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a rare, debilitating ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South Texas and across the nation is ... & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. In fact, donations across the country ... percent in South Texas in the last four years alone. , There is no substitute ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... RoviSys, a ... based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on a new building in Holly ... Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment to business in the region. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: