Navigation Links
Two studies on bee evolution reveal surprises

The discovery of a 100-million-year old bee embedded in amber -- perhaps the oldest bee ever found -- "pushes the bee fossil record back about 35 million years," according to Bryan Danforth, Cornell associate professor of entomology.

Danforth and George Poinar of Oregon State University found the bee embedded in amber from a mine in northern Myanmar (Burma).

A report on this major fossil discovery, which the researchers say supports a new hypothesis in bee evolution, was published in the Oct. 27 issue of Science.

Scientists have long believed that bees first appeared about 120 million years ago -- but previous bee fossil records dated back only about 65 million years. Danforth and Poinar's fossil provides strong evidence for a more remote ancestry. The fact that the bee fossil also has some wasp traits suggests an evolutionary link between wasps and bees.

In a related study, published in the Oct. 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Danforth and several colleagues from other institutions examined early bees' structures in combination with bee DNA, producing the largest molecular and morphological study to date on bee family-level phylogeny -- the evolutionary development and diversification of a species. Their goal was to examine the early evolutionary pattern of bees and how their evolution relates to the evolution of flowering plants. Flowering plants are among the most diverse organisms that have ever existed -- Charles Darwin called their origin and diversification an "abominable mystery."

More than 16,000 species of bees, organized into seven families, are known to exist. But scientists disagree on which family is the most primitive. Bees are known to affect plant evolution by spreading pollen and preferring to pollinate some types of plants over others. Because scientists assume that bees have essentially always been around, pollinating plants and "creating" new species, it has been a mystery why the bee fossil record only dated back about 65 million years.

Until now, many researchers believed the most primitive bees stemmed from the family Colletidae, which implies that bees originated in the Southern Hemisphere (either South America or Australia). However, the work of Danforth and his group suggests that the earliest branches of the bee's evolutionary tree originate from the family Melittidae. That would mean that bees have an African origin and are almost as old as flowering plants, which would help explain a lot about the evolutionary diversification of these plants.


'"/>

Source:Cornell University News Service


Related biology news :

1. New studies suggest airborne SARS transmission is possible
2. Two studies document rise of superbugs in the environment
3. UI researcher studies deafness in fruit flies, humans
4. Biased reporting found in cancer prognostic studies
5. Fruit fly studies open new window on cancer research
6. Why do aneurysms form? New studies suggest leading role for white blood cells
7. Bare metal stents deliver gene therapy to heart vessels with less inflammation in animal studies
8. Diabetes researchers pioneer islet cell xenotransplantation in primate studies
9. Pair of studies offer new clues to combat antibiotic resistance
10. New RNAi tools enable systematic studies of gene function
11. Ernst Mayrs theory illustrated in genetic epidemiology studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  higi, the health IT company that operates ... America , today announced a Series B investment ... EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy ... transform population health activities through the collection and workflow ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 25, 2017 , ... Throughout this webinar, participants will ... process development and economic goals were achieved in both industry and academic settings. ... system, along with techniques for scaling production of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... BOUNTIFUL, Utah (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 ... ... announces the selection and implementation of CLEARAS Water Recovery’s Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery ... a key component of a $24 million plant upgrade to sustainably meet current ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... May 23, 2017 As Ebola resurfaces in the ... deaths and 20 suspected cases now reported, a new analysis ... database, showed a correlation between the 2014 and 2017 outbreaks ... rose sharply in 2012-13, which preceded the 2014 outbreak. An ... Ebola gene Replikin counts in 2014-15, which again precedes the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Genedata, a ... anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence at Bio-IT World Conference & ... further extends an invitation to all attendees to view posters on the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: