Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes That Prevent Changes In Physical Traits Due To Environmental Changes Identified

Date:
November 5, 2008
Source:
New York University
Summary:
Biologists have identified genes that prevent physical traits from being affected by environmental changes. The research, which studied the genetic makeup of baker's yeast, appears in the Public Library of Science's journal, PloS Biology.

New York University biologists have identified genes that prevent physical traits from being affected by environmental changes. The research, which studied the genetic makeup of baker's yeast, appears in the latest issue of the Public Library of Science's journal, PloS Biology.

Related Articles


NYU biologists Mark Siegal, an assistant professor, and Sasha Levy, a post-doctoral fellow, who are part of NYU's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, conducted the study.

The researchers sought to understand how organisms develop and function reliably, despite experiencing a range of environmental conditions and genetic differences caused by mutations.

"Most species maintain abundant genetic variation and experience a wide range of environmental conditions, yet phenotypic—or physical—differences between individuals are usually small," Siegal explained. "This phenomenon, known as phenotypic robustness, presents an apparent contradiction: if biological systems are so resistant to variation, how do they diverge and adapt through evolutionary time?"

To identify genes that buffer environmental and genetic variation, which may influence how novel traits evolve, the researchers examined Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a species of budding yeast. They investigated the molecular mechanisms that underlie its phenotypic robustness and how these mechanisms can be broken to produce differences in physical appearance within the species.

Siegal and Levy sought to identify genes that contribute to phenotypic robustness in yeast by analyzing the differences in their phenotypes in a comprehensive collection of single-gene knockout strains—that is, they removed these genes to determine if the resulting phenotypes were more variable from cell to cell.

They determined that approximately 5 percent of yeast genes, or approximately 300 genes, break phenotypic robustness when knocked out. These genes tend to interact genetically with a large number of other genes, and their products tend to interact physically with a large number of other gene products. When they are absent, the cellular networks built from their interactions are disrupted and physical differences in the species result. In nature, the researchers hypothesized, some individuals might then have physical features that yield an advantage over the others.

"If so, the loss of phenotypic robustness could actually serve an adaptive role during evolution," Siegal explained.

The research was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award, which Siegal received in 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York University. "Genes That Prevent Changes In Physical Traits Due To Environmental Changes Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103203027.htm>.
New York University. (2008, November 5). Genes That Prevent Changes In Physical Traits Due To Environmental Changes Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103203027.htm
New York University. "Genes That Prevent Changes In Physical Traits Due To Environmental Changes Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103203027.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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