Navigation Links
Superfast evolution in sea stars
Date:7/24/2012

How quickly can new species arise? In as little as 6,000 years, according to a study of Australian sea stars.

"That's unbelievably fast compared to most organisms," said Rick Grosberg, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and coauthor on the paper published July 18 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Grosberg is interested in how new species arise in the ocean. On land, groups of plants and animals can be physically isolated by mountains or rivers and then diverge until they can no longer interbreed even if they meet again. But how does this isolation happen in the wide-open ocean?

Grosberg and colleagues studied two closely related "cushion stars," Cryptasperina pentagona and C. hystera, living on the Australian coast. The animals are identical in appearance but live in different regions: Hystera occurs on a few beaches and islands at the far southern end of the range of pentagona.

And their sex lives are very, very different. Pentagona has male and female individuals that release sperm and eggs into the water where they fertilize, grow into larvae and float around in the plankton for a few months before settling down and developing into adult sea stars.

Hystera are hermaphrodites that brood their young internally and give birth to miniature sea stars ready to grow to adulthood.

"It's as dramatic a difference in life history as in any group of organisms," Grosberg said.

The researchers looked at the diversity in DNA sequences from sea stars of both species and estimated the length of time since the species diverged.

The results show that the species separated about 6,000 to 22,000 years ago. That rules out some ways new species could evolve. For example, they clearly did not diverge slowly with genetic changes over a long period of time, but were isolated quickly.

Over the last 11,000 years, the boundary between cold and warm water in the Coral Sea has fluctuated north and south. A small population of the ancestral sea stars, perhaps even one individual, might have colonized a remote area at the southern end of the range then been isolated by one of these changes in ocean currents.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scientists connect seawater chemistry with climate change and evolution
2. Tamarisk biocontrol efforts get evolutionary boost
3. Sandia seeks commercial partners for revolutionary SpinDx medical diagnostic tool
4. SDSCs CIPRES Science Gateway clarifies branches in evolutions tree of life
5. Revolutionary project will obtain entire genome sequences in fight against Alzheimers
6. Study provides first evidence of coevolution between invasive, native species
7. Mercury mineral evolution
8. Clues to nervous system evolution found in nerve-less sponge
9. Not a 1-way street: Evolution shapes environment of Connecticut lakes
10. Big-mouthed babies drove the evolution of giant island snakes
11. Maps of Miscanthus genome offer insight into grass evolution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Superfast evolution in sea stars
(Date:12/22/2016)... SuperCom (NASDAQ:   SPCB ), ... HealthCare, and Finance sectors announced today that Leaders in Community Alternatives ... deploy a community-based supportive services program to reduce recidivism in a ... its presence in the state. ... This new program, which is expected to commence in ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... --  IdentyTechSolutions America LLC , a leading provider ... a cutting-edge manufacturer of software and hardware security ... integrated solutions that comprise IDT biometric readers and ... IdentyTech,s customers with combined physical identification and anti-tailgating ... theft. "We are proud to use ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016   WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced today that on December 13, 2016, it received ... Nasdaq Stock Market LLC which acknowledged that, as of ... common stock had been at $1.00 or greater for ... with Listing Rule 5550(a)(2) of the Nasdaq Stock Market. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... of product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, ... a fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; NASDAQ: AQB), a ... a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... of its common shares on the NASDAQ Stock Market ... "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an important milestone for ... U.S. markets as we advance plans for commercial production ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci Inc. is a go-getter type of company ... is accounted to two main factors. The first is the amazing customer service ... supplying FireflySci products all around the world. , 2016 was a tremendous sales year ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: ... personalized immune therapies for operable and inoperable solid tumor ... Chief Technical Officer of NW Bio, will present at ... 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in ... chair the session entitled "New Therapeutic Approaches – Expanding ...
Breaking Biology Technology: