Navigation Links
Mitochondrial genes move to the nucleus -- but it's not for the sex

Why mitochondrial genes ditch their cushy haploid environs to take up residence in a large and chaotic nucleus has long stumped evolutionary biologists, but Indiana University Bloomington scientists report in this week's Science that they've uncovered an important clue in flowering plants.

"Plants that reproduce clonally or are capable of self-pollinating have transferred more genes from the mitochondrion to the nucleus," said graduate student Yaniv Brandvain, lead author of the paper.

That discovery, Brandvain explained, is unexpected. The most obvious benefit of being part of the nuclear genome is recombination, after all, but little recombination takes place in self-pollinating species. So what, exactly, might be luring mitochondrial genes to the nucleus?

"We're not quite sure why yet, but we've hypothesized that successful mitochondrial genes are pairing up with related nuclear genes," Brandvain said. "When you have two successful genes that depend on each other, it's best for them not to be in an environment in which they will recombine. It would be like breaking up a good musical duo."

Mitochondrial and nuclear genomes replicate separately, and a new and beneficial mutation in the mitochondrion could be separated from partner genes in the nucleus -- in the production of eggs or pollen, via meiosis. But the mating system determines whether or not this separation is permanent. With self-pollination, the components separated by meiosis are brought back together. In contrast, the components are further separated if they mix and match haphazardly during out-crossing.

Brandvain said the finding contradicts the expectation that mitochondrial genes migrate to the nucleus because of the evolutionary benefits conferred by sexual recombination. "The benefits of sex could have driven the transfer," he said. "There are powerful arguments out there for that. But that's just not what we saw."

Brandvain, fellow gr aduate student Michael Barker, and their advisor, IUB evolutionary biologist Michael J. Wade, examined papers that identified the sexual properties of plants that show evidence of mitochondrial-nuclear transfer. In all, the scientists collected data from plant species representing 170 genera.

Source:Indiana University

Related biology news :

1. Mitochondrial DNA mutations play significant role in prostate cancer
2. Mitochondrial DNA sequencing tool updated
3. Newly-discovered class of genes determines ?and restricts ?stem cell fate
4. Inexpensive, mass-produced genes core of synthetic biology advances at UH
5. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
6. U-M scientists find genes that control growth of common skin cancer
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Scientists document complex genomic events leading to the birth of new genes
9. Genrate: a generative model that finds and scores new genes and exons in genomic microarray data
10. Advances in the characterisation of the oyster mushroom genes
11. Researchers find new genes necessary to make embryo

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon ... Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA library ... kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX ... enable the preparation of NGS libraries for liquid ... for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer and ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, ... , an innovator in modern authentication and a founding ... the launch of its latest version of the Nok ... organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and ... Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE ... has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in ... operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could ... change" as defined in Section 382 of the Code. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) announced today ... Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at the 27th Annual ... . .   Listeners ... prior to the presentation to download or install any ... available on the website approximately one hour after the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 The Global ... a professional and in-depth study on the current ... (Logo: ) , The ... including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. ... international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today announced ... conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ... December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: