Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling

Date:
July 20, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
'Super hemoglobin' allows moles to thrive underground. Researchers have made the first identification of an adaptation in the blood of Eastern moles which allows more efficient transport of carbon dioxide, facilitating the moles' burrowing behavior.

Mole.
Credit: Campbell et al., BMC Evolutionary Biology

'Super hemoglobin' allows moles to thrive underground. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology have made the first identification of an adaptation in the blood of Eastern moles which allows more efficient transport of carbon dioxide, facilitating the moles' burrowing behavior.

Kevin Campbell from the University of Manitoba, Canada, worked with a team of researchers to study the blood of three underground species of North American moles. He said, "Unlike terrestrial animals, moles are routinely exposed to conditions of low oxygen and high carbon dioxide. Burrowing is difficult in itself, but is made even more challenging by the requirement to re-breathe their own expired air. We've found that one species, the Eastern mole, appears to be uniquely adapted to underground life through the evolution of a special kind of hemoglobin in their blood that greatly enhances its carbon dioxide carrying capacity."

The researchers determined the genetic code for different hemoglobin components in the three mole species and measured how well these components bind to their usual target molecules. They also tested the oxygen binding properties of whole blood samples. Speaking about the results, Campbell said, "It has been speculated that the main mechanism for the moles adaptation to subterranean life revolves around the molecule 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, or DPG, that modulates hemoglobin's oxygen binding inside the blood cells. However, in the hemoglobin of the eastern mole, the key sites which would normally bind DPG are deleted, thereby allowing for the binding of additional carbon dioxide molecules."

Adds co-author Roy Weber, University of Aarhus, Denmark, "It would be interesting to see if the hemoglobins of other burrowing species exhibit comparable specializations." The team envisions that this line of research could lead to the development of improved artificial human blood substitutes with specially engineered properties.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kevin L Campbell, Jay F Storz, Anthony V Signore, Hideaki Moriyama, Kenneth C Catania, Alexander P Payson, Joseph Bonaventura, Joerg Stetefeld and Roy E Weber. Molecular basis of a novel adaptation to hypoxic-hypercapnia in a strictly fossorial mole. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2010; 10 (1): 214 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-214

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719083050.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2010, July 20). Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719083050.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719083050.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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