Navigation Links
Ancient genetic material from caries bacterium obtained for the first time

Streptococcus mutans, one of the principal bacteria that cause dental caries, has increased the change in its genetic material over time, possibly coinciding with dietary change linked to the expansion of humanity. This is highlighted in a study by researchers from the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Laboratorio Nacional de Genmica para la Biodiversidad (National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity) in Mexico who, for the first time, have sequenced genetic material from this bacterium in populations from the past. Increase in genetic diversity has been produced especially in the fragment of a gene that codifies a virulence factor known as dextranase.

The research, published in Proceedings of The Royal Society B, has studied the bacterium in eleven individuals from the Bronze Age up to the twentieth century, in Europe and in both pre- and post-colonial America. The oldest case is that of an individual dating from 1200 BC, from the burial cave in Montanisell (Lleida, Catalonia); the most recent, from the UAB collection, dates from the beginning of the twentieth century.

"The relationship is well known between the increase in frequency of caries and the dietary changes that occurred in the Neolithic, or with the European discovery of America, with the large-scale introduction of sugarcane to Europe, or the Industrial Revolution, but what was not known was whether this change happened jointly with changes at a genetic level is this bacterium", explains Marc Simn, trainee researcher in the UAB Biodiversity doctorate and the article's principal author.

"We saw that, in the most recent populations, genetic diversity was greater; to us, this indicates a population-based expansion by the bacterium that may have occurred in parallel with the demographic expansion of humans. We think that this increase took place in the Neolithic. Currently, the oldest individual we have analysed is from the Bronze Age, but we might actually be witnessing the continuation of this process. In the future, we hope to be able to work with even older samples in order to corroborate our hypothesis".

The study opens up the possibility of providing evidence for the historical relationship between caries and human beings as well as ascertaining the ways in which distinct historical moments may have affected this; additionally, it makes it possible to reconstruct the dietary habits of the ancient population or of the population movements that took place.

For Assumpci Malgosa, researcher in Biological Anthropology at the UAB and coordinator of this research, "it is important to know how the gene varied in the past in order to predict models of evolution for caries virulence, to know whether these changes were a response brought about in order to adapt better to changing environments or even to other parts of the human body, such as the gastrointestinal tract, or if they changed to become resistant when conditions of hygiene improved, etc. Knowing how they reacted in the past in different situations can provide us with an idea of how they will do so in the future in similar circumstances".


Contact: Maria Jesus Delgado
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Related biology news :

1. Cellular gates for sodium and calcium controlled by common element of ancient origin
2. New study: Ancient Arctic sharks tolerated brackish water 50 million years ago
3. Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
4. Newly discovered paddle prints show how ancient sea reptiles swam
5. Modern ocean acidification is outpacing ancient upheaval, study suggests
6. Leaf chewing links insect diversity in modern and ancient forests
7. Reconstructed ancient ocean reveals secrets about the origin of life
8. Ancient DNA offers clues to how barnyard chickens came to be
9. Ancient sea-levels give new clues on ice ages
10. Scientists reconstruct ancient impact that dwarfs dinosaur-extinction blast
11. Study: Black carbon is ancient by the time it reaches seafloor
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Ancient genetic material from caries bacterium obtained for the first time
(Date:11/17/2015)... Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" and ... of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample preparation ... it has received gross proceeds of $745,000 from an ... "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised to date in ... are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed healthy ... (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating this ... Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene ... disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of Lou ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... PUNE, India , November 27, 2015 ... --> Growing popularity of companion ... emerging in cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical ... develop in-demand companion diagnostic tests. ... --> Complete report on global ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... device company specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it ... as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme ... a large-scale clinical trial in breast cancer. , ... , --> --> The ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) ... a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in an effort ... carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue ... PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could be substantially ... defined in Section 382 of the Code. In general, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Studies reveal ... human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment ... cats     --> ... diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood ... collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM ...
Breaking Biology Technology: