Navigation Links
Stealing life's building blocks
Date:6/8/2012

In a finding that could fundamentally re-write science's understanding of how some parasite-host relationships work, Harvard researchers have found that, despite being separated by more than 100 million years of evolution, the parasitic "corpse flower" found in southeast Asian rainforests appears to share large parts of its genome with its host vines, members of the grapevine family.

The two plants share parts of their genome, researchers believe, through a process known as "horizontal gene transfer". As opposed to vertical transfer, in which a parent passes genes to their offspring, horizontal transfer occurs when genes are passed between organisms without sexual reproduction.

As described in the June 6 issue of BMC Genomics in a study that was co-lead with Stony Brook University, researchers found that this type of genetic sharing between these two plants is much more widespread than first suspected, and that some genes borrowed by the flowers are likely functional, and had perhaps replaced vertically inherited copies. The surprising finding, Charles Davis, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Vascular Plants in the Harvard University Herbaria, said, suggests that the process may convey some evolutionary advantage to the flowers, which are the largest flowers in the world.

"We found that several dozen actively transcribed genes likely originated from the flower's host," said Zhenxiang Xi, a graduate student in Davis' lab, and first author of the paper. "In addition, we found evidence that about one third of the parasites own vertically inherited genes have evolved to be more like those of hosts, suggesting that there might be a fitness benefit to maintaining genes that are more host-like."

"At the outset, we wondered if it could be that a subset of these genes might provide some defense from the host mounting an attack," Davis added. "However, the genes coming to the flowers represent
'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Reuell
preuell@fas.harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Unique adaptations to a symbiotic lifestyle reveal novel targets for aphid insecticides
2. Building the European Unions Natura 2000 -- the largest ever network of protected areas
3. New study finds a protein combination is best to consume post-workout for building muscle
4. Light weights are just as good for building muscle, getting stronger, researchers find
5. CUNY Energy Institute battery system could reduce buildings electric bills
6. A cells first steps: Building a model to explain how cells grow
7. The Japanese traditional therapy, honokiol, blocks key protein in inflammatory brain damage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/15/2014)... 15, 2014 Sandata Technologies, LLC, an ... community-based care, today announced it released a case ... Electronic Visit Verification™ Solution (EVV™)  for Quality Care ... health company founded in 1996 and has five ... The study details the challenges facing ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... German Gauß-Allianz has admitted Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ... Rhineland-Palatinate science hub continues to maintain a significant ... , "The acceptance of Johannes Gutenberg University ... is a milestone in the national and international ... The state of Rhineland-Palatinate can be proud that ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... Conn. , Oct. 15, 2014 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market releases ... MarketSite in Times Square on Monday October 13 th . ... CTO David Tunnel and angel investor Mr. Chad ... Pereira , CEO of NXT-ID thanked his investors and employees "for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Sandata Announces Case Study with Quality Care Services, Inc. 2Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz joins Germany's Gauss-Allianz as a full member 2Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz joins Germany's Gauss-Allianz as a full member 3Photo Release: NXT-ID Inc. Rings Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market October 13th 2Photo Release: NXT-ID Inc. Rings Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market October 13th 3
... Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel ... of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) annual ... These awards are meant to promote the entry of ... mainstream of the basic science community and to encourage ...
... Fox Foundation for Parkinson,s Research and Shake It Up ... Sydney,s Garvan Institute of Medical Research to look at ... Long non-coding RNAs are complex molecules, produced from ... in the body. Unlike conventional genes, they do not ...
... have increasingly relied on the wild and weedy relatives of ... and other traits. But just like all wild plant species, ... decline and extinction due to habitat loss, pollution, and climate ... describe the latest efforts to identify and protect the wild ...
Cached Biology News:Garvan Institute receives grant to research role of long non-coding RNAs in Parkinson's disease 2Protecting the weedy and wild kin of globally important crops 2
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014 Nuvilex, Inc. ... approximately 400 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, ... people by 2030.  The global market for diabetes treatments ... approximately 330,000 people worldwide died from pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic ... due to cancer in the United States ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... 20, 2014 Mapp Biopharmaceutical,s valiant effort ... therapeutic to fight the Ebola outbreak will make ... the production of pharmaceuticals can be, according to ... that while some may be taken aback by ... with industry knowledge are well aware of the ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... , October 20, 2014 ... gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and the delivery of care has ... diseases and worrying inequalities in the provision of healthcare ... which was commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), have ... political and public awareness of the burden of GI ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... (PRWEB) October 20, 2014 ... Partners LLC, announced today that Ellen Teplitzky, an ... support for the pharmaceutical industry, has joined the ... of its legal services practice. NDA Partners ... expert witness and testimony, to top law firms ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nuvilex Brief Analyst Report: Thinking Outside the Box by BrokerBank Securities, Inc. 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 3Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 2Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 3Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 4Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 5NDA Partners Appoints Ellen Teplitzky, JD as Director of its Legal Services Practice 2
... Executive Team, FREMONT, Calif., Sept. 8 ... a novel transdermal,delivery technology, today announced that Gail ... The company also announced several recent,appointments to the ... and president; John M. Vuko, executive vice president ...
... Inc.,("Oncolytics") (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) announced today that that it ... trial using intravenous,administration of REOLYSIN(R) in combination with ... neck cancers. The Principal,Investigator is Dr. Monica Mita ... The University of Texas Health Science Center at ...
... Md., Sept. 8 Neuralstem Inc., CEO,Richard Garr, will ... Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig,s disease) at the 2008 ... at 2:00 CDT. In a,presentation prior to the panel, ... trial and give an update of the Company,s filing ...
Cached Biology Technology:Zosano Pharma, Inc. Announces Appointment of Gail Schulze as Chair and CEO 2Zosano Pharma, Inc. Announces Appointment of Gail Schulze as Chair and CEO 3Zosano Pharma, Inc. Announces Appointment of Gail Schulze as Chair and CEO 4Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Starts Patient Enrolment in U.S. Phase 2 Clinical Trial Investigating REOLYSIN(R) in Combination with Paclitaxel and Carboplatin 2Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Starts Patient Enrolment in U.S. Phase 2 Clinical Trial Investigating REOLYSIN(R) in Combination with Paclitaxel and Carboplatin 3Neuralstem CEO to Speak on ALS Panel at World Stem Cell Summit 2