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:2/13/2017)... Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and Special Counsel to ... of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today releases the following ... Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the ... Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains more notoriety and ... ban, it is important that our national discourse regain ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 8, 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics ... match it against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic ... cadence, and tone are compared to distinguish between ... installation, as most PCs already have a microphone ... Voice recognition biometrics are most likely to be ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 The ... largely by the confluence of organizations, desires to ... for knowledge-based systems (password and challenge questions), biometrics ... and government systems. The market is driven by ... demarcation between consumer and enterprise uses cases, with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/15/2017)... , 15. Februar 2017  Trianni, Inc. („TRIANNI") ... Inc. (Janssen) eine Lizenzvereinbarung über die Verwendung der ... führenden Plattform für die Entdeckung monoklonaler Antikörper. ... neuartiges chimäres Gensegmentdesign aus, das Janssen den ... Antikörpern bietet und das für die schelle Isolierung ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2017  Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... results for the fourth quarter and full year ... an exceptional year for Vanda as we continued ... and secured long-term exclusivity for Fanapt," said Mihael ... addition, our emerging pipeline with important 2017 milestones ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... -- Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: WINT ), ... therapies for respiratory diseases, will host a conference call ... EST on Thursday, February 16, 2017 to provide updates ... announced closing of a $10.5 million private offering and ... in the live call and take part in the ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... ... February 15, 2017 , ... ... a strategic partnership that puts Diameter Health technology in the hands of Lantana ... allows providers, exchanges, quality improvement and public health entities – all those mining ...
Breaking Biology Technology: