Navigation Links
Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows

EAST LANSING, Mich. Dont ever change isnt just a romantic platitude. Its a solid evolutionary strategy. At least if youre among the creatures that produce scads of genetically identical offspring like microbes, plants or water fleas. These creatures provide a chance to wonder about the clones raised in near-identical environments that turn out differently than their kin.

In this weeks Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Michigan State University zoologist joins others in reporting how the greater good of a genetic pool of identical organisms is affected when a few individuals break from the developmental pack.

Ian Dworkin, an assistant professor of zoology, worked with a on the paper Genetics of Microenvironmental Canalization in Arabidopsis Thaliana the group tackled the question of canalization -- a measure of the ability of a genotype to produce the same traits regardless of variability of its environment. As Dworkin puts it, Canalization is the robustness, because in many cases its better to just shake off the minor fluctuations in the environment because in evolution, there are optimal traits to have, a place you want to be. Canalization prevents you from the minor screw ups along the way eating wrong, getting too much sun. It keeps you in the zone.

The group studied different cloned offspring of the Arabadopsis, a plant of the mustard family commonly used to test genetic questions. Arabadopsis can have many offspring that are genetically identical. Yet, just like human twins, these identical plants still have subtle individual differences. The question: Does an individual jumping on an extra bit of sunshine or rain shower to grow taller affect the groups overall reproductive health" Dworkin paints a hypothetical family tale of two Arabadopsis families. All the offspring of plant A can grow up in near-identical environments, with pretty much the same water, sunshine and soil. But even in that stable home, little variations occur. One plant in the A family might get a few more minutes of sunshine a day, another might get more water, but they pretty much grow up to be just like their parent. The identical offspring of Plant B grow up the same way, except more of the plants in the B family go crazy with those environmental changes. Some get taller than their parents, some are stunted by those little environmental hiccoughs.

The scientific intrigue comes when scientists call a big family reunion, and discover that the A family all look close to alike, despite those subtle environmental differences. Family B, however, clearly didnt follow the family genetic rules, with some towering over the group, and others being vertically challenged.

And like family reunions, the competition is decided as everyone compares pictures of the grandchildren. In Arabadopsiss case, the solid Family A produces more children or flowers, than the erratic Family B. As it turns out, and perhaps not surprisingly, those genotypes that tended in general to vary more, tended to not produce as many flowers (and thus were less likely to reproduce successfully), Dworkin said. There definitely are costs to variation. In addition, this study provides preliminary evidence that a well known plant development gene ERECTA may be in part responsible for some of the change in some genotypes. However, Dworkin said this conclusion requires further study.

Contact: Ian Dworkin
Michigan State University

Related biology news :

1. Cytoplasm affects the number of vertebrae in carp-goldfish clones
2. Examination of internal wiring of yeast, worm, and fly reveals conserved circuits
3. Conserved amino acids play both structural and mechanistic roles in sandwich-like protein
4. Ariadne Genomics Announces the Release of PathwayStudio?Central, Client-Server Software for Biological Pathway Analysis
5. Scientists observe how a close bond activates the immune system
6. When smell cells fail they call in stem cell reserves
7. Cant serve an ace? Could be muscle fatigue
8. Primates harvest bee nests in Ugandan reserve
9. Satellites show Amazon parks, indigenous reserves stop forest clearing
10. How marine reserves are giving coral reefs a helping hand
11. Ancient fossil DNA found preserved in crystal
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , Oct. ... Labs , an innovator in modern authentication and a ... announced the launch of its latest version of the ... enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports existing ... S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... global voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a ... --> --> The report, Global Voice ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... -- Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics ... ended September 30, 2015.  --> ... million, a decrease of 33% compared to $6.0 million in the ... 2015 was $2.2 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, which compared ... period a year ago.  --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Pittcon is pleased ... technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, and posters. The ... range of applications such as, but not limited to, biotechnology, biomedical, drug discovery, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced ... stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to ... (NOLs) under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code ... PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could be substantially limited ... in Section 382 of the Code. In general, an ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; ... and prospects remain fundamentally strong and highlights the ... recently received DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC ... of the final interim efficacy and safety data ... in men with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) ... research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing ... lower margins but higher volume share for the ... and scale, however, margins in the CRO industry ... (CRO) Market ( ), finds that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: