Navigation Links
Molecular biology fills gaps in knowledge of bat evolution

One in five mammals living on Earth is a bat, yet their evolutionary history is largely unknown because of a limited fossil record and conflicting or incomplete theories about their origins and divergence.

Now, a research team including University of California, Riverside Biology Professor Mark Springer, has published a paper in the Jan. 28 issue of the journal Science that uses molecular biology and the fossil data to fill in many of the gaps.

Springer coauthors the paper, titled A Molecular Phylogeny for Bats Illuminates Biogeography and the Fossil Record, with William Murphy, Stephen J. O'Brien and Emma. C. Teeling of the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, Frederick, MD; Ole Madsen in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands; and Paul Bates of the Harrison Institute's Centre for Systematics and Biodiversity Research, Kent, U.K.

"The present work advances our understanding of where bats originated, when they diversified and how different bat families are related to each other," Springer said. "It also quantifies the fraction of the fossil record that is missing for bats."

The team, using DNA sequencing, analyzed data from portions of 17 nuclear genes from representatives of all bat families.

Their results support the hypothesis that the group of large fruit-eating bats from the tropics, that fly mostly during the day - known to biologists as megabats - emerged from four major lineages of smaller and more widely dispersed, mostly insect-eating, night-flying bats, known as microbats. These microbats - also known for their highly specialized echolocation - originated about 52 to 50 million years ago during a lush period of significant global warming in a region that is now North America.

This latest research helps fill gaps in the evolutionary history of one of the most diverse group of mammals on earth and the only mammals capable of powered flight. The foss il record alone left bat evolutionary history about 61 percent incomplete, according to Springer. Bats play a major ecological role as plant pollinators and insect predators.

For Springer, this latest research is significant because it shows that molecular information can contribute to resolving and illuminating long-standing problems in evolutionary biology.

The current findings lay the groundwork for further research that, Springer hopes, will expand the coverage of classifications of bats from the family level to the genus level and probe in more detail into the bat evolutionary record. He also plans to compare the completeness of the bat fossil record with that of other mammals.


'"/>

Source:University of California - Riverside


Related biology news :

1. Molecular machine may lead to new drugs to combat human diseases
2. Molecular Motors Cooperate In Moving Cellular Cargo, Study Shows
3. Molecular models advance the fight against malaria
4. Molecular fossils uncover link between viruses and the immune system
5. Molecular thermometers on skin cells detect heat and camphor
6. Molecular messengers perform a crucial role in the ability of injured nerve cells to heal themselves
7. Molecular steps involved in the creation of gene-silencing microRNAs identified
8. Molecular miners find pain relief drugs from the sea
9. Molecular mechanism of feather formation found
10. Molecular trigger for Huntingtons disease found
11. Molecular Partners Required For Appropriate Neuronal Gene Repression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... KONG , March 30, 2017 The ... a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking ... into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in ... at an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General ... Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR ... Continue Reading ... ... picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/21/2017)... , ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... clinical research sector professionals, has announced the addition of 5 new courses to ... - Compliance with Regulation 21 CFR Part 11 on Electronic Records and ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... New Haven, CT (PRWEB) , ... September 21, ... ... company developing bioresorbable scaffold technology, today announced the election of Paul Hermes, Entrepreneur ... Board of Directors. , Biorez has developed a proprietary, tissue-engineered scaffold for ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Diversity focused business accelerator, ... the Growth pitch competition to uncover the top technology-driven, women-led startups in Boston, MA, ... part of each city’s entrepreneurial events going on that week – in Boston, it ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... of a study examining the effects of exoskeleton-assisted walking on gait parameters ... (SCI). The article, "Neuromechanical adaptations during a robotic powered exoskeleton assisted walking ...
Breaking Biology Technology: