Navigation Links
Scientists reveal driving force behind evolution
Date:2/25/2010

The team observed viruses as they evolved over hundreds of generations to infect bacteria. They found that when the bacteria could evolve defences, the viruses evolved at a quicker rate and generated greater diversity, compared to situations where the bacteria were unable to adapt to the viral infection.

The study shows, for the first time, that the American evolutionary biologist Leigh Van Valen was correct in his 'Red Queen Hypothesis'. The theory, first put forward in the 1970s, was named after a passage in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass in which the Red Queen tells Alice, 'It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place'. This suggested that species were in a constant race for survival and have to continue to evolve new ways of defending themselves throughout time.

Dr Steve Paterson, from the University's School of Biosciences, explains: "Historically, it was assumed that most evolution was driven by a need to adapt to the environment or habitat. The Red Queen Hypothesis challenged this by pointing out that actually most natural selection will arise from co-evolutionary interactions with other species, not from interactions with the environment.

"This suggested that evolutionary change was created by 'tit-for-tat' adaptations by species in constant combat. This theory is widely accepted in the science community, but this is the first time we have been able to show evidence of it in an experiment with living things."

Dr Michael Brockhurst said: "We used fast-evolving viruses so that we could observe hundreds of generations of evolution. We found that for every viral strategy of attack, the bacteria would adapt to defend itself, which triggered an endless cycle of co-evolutionary change. We compared this with evolution against a fixed target, by disabling the bacteria's ability to adapt to the virus.

"These experiments showed us that co-evolutionary interactions between species result in more genetically diverse populations, compared to instances where the host was not able to adapt to the parasite. The virus was also able to evolve twice as quickly when the bacteria were allowed to evolve alongside it."

The team used high-throughput DNA sequencing technology at the Centre for Genomic Research to sequence thousands of virus genomes. The next stage of the research is to understand how co-evolution differs when interacting species help, rather than harm, one another.


'/>"/>

Contact: Samantha Martin
samantha.martin@liv.ac.uk
01-517-942-248
University of Liverpool
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hormone study gives scientists a sense of how animals bond
2. 78 scientists elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
3. U. of Colorado scientists create tiny RNA molecule with big implications for lifes origins
4. George Daley to discuss challenges and opportunities facing stem cell scientists
5. Scientists unlock mystery in important photosynthesis step
6. Scientists identify critical enzyme in healthy heart function
7. Sanford-Burnham scientists identify natural compound that inhibits cancer cell migration
8. Scientists discover molecular pathway for organ tissue regeneration and repair
9. Scientists synthesize unique family of anti-cancer compounds
10. ASU scientists develop universal DNA reader to advance faster, cheaper sequencing efforts
11. USDA scientists sequence genome of grass that can be a biofuel model crop
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... PUNE, India , January 12, 2017 A ... 2015 - 2022," projects that the global biometric technology market is expected to generate ... to 2022. Continue Reading ... ...      (Logo: ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... 1 safety studies in healthy volunteers of a ... intended to treat acute pancreatitis. ... is typically a mild disorder, but can be ... organ failure and sepsis, where extended hospital stays, ...
(Date:1/4/2017)... thousands of attendees at this year,s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ... devices and services, will be featuring its new line of ULTRA CONNECT ... special CES Exhibit Suite , the new upper arm and wrist smart ... product platform.  Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Executive search firm Slone ... continued commitment to the advancement of the clinical trials segment. Hosted in Miami, ... clinical trial planning and management. , As executive talent specialists in the ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Whitehouse Labs has ... Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), the scientific staff dedicated to Extractables / Leachables ... for further growth in 2017. Extractable & Leachable evaluations have become increasingly more ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... announced that it has submitted a 510(k) to the FDA, requesting clearance of ... patent-pending functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology. , The submission marks a major ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... DrugDev ... Summit for Clinical Ops Executives (Hyatt Regency Miami, January 24-26). DrugDev will join ... clinical research issues such as trial performance metrics, patient enrollment diversity, protocol optimization, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: