Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Building A Tree Of Life Needs Less 'Wood'

Date:
November 30, 2004
Source:
University Of California, Davis
Summary:
Building a "tree of life" for all the species on the planet may be easier than first thought, according to a study by UC Davis researchers published in the journal Science Nov. 12.

Building a "tree of life" for all the species on the planet may be easier than first thought, according to a study by UC Davis researchers published in the journal Science Nov. 12.

Related Articles


A tree of life shows how living things have evolved since the origins of life billions of years ago, grouping related organisms on the same branch. Such trees provide an organizing framework for biology. They can be used for predicting the properties of poorly known species and are powerful tools for tasks such as drug discovery, said Michael Sanderson, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and senior author on the paper.

Comparing protein and DNA sequences is a powerful tool for creating trees, because large amounts of data can be generated quite easily. But existing databases contain big gaps, because some organisms have been studied very heavily while many others are represented by single entries or not at all.

Postdoctoral researcher Amy Driskell and colleagues from Sanderson's laboratory analyzed over 300,000 protein and DNA sequences deposited by scientists in the GenBank and Swiss-Prot public databases. They found that even though there were big gaps in the data, with many groups of organisms represented by a single sequence, it was still possible to construct useful trees starting from samples of 16,000 green plants and 7,500 plants and animals.

"It's pretty surprising that you can draw conclusions from such a small amount of information, compared to how much there would be if the databases contained a better sample of biodiversity," Sanderson said.

Researchers can now take the same approach and add more information from sequence databases, increasing the resolution of phylogenetic trees, he said.

The other authors on the paper are Cιcile Anι, now assistant professor of statistics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; UC Davis postdoctoral researchers Gordon Burleigh and Michelle McMahon; and graduate student Brian O'Meara, also at UC Davis. The work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Davis. "Building A Tree Of Life Needs Less 'Wood'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041123204843.htm>.
University Of California, Davis. (2004, November 30). Building A Tree Of Life Needs Less 'Wood'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041123204843.htm
University Of California, Davis. "Building A Tree Of Life Needs Less 'Wood'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041123204843.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) — A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins