Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Your Christmas tree and its genome have remained very much the same over the last 100 million years

Date:
December 13, 2012
Source:
Université Laval
Summary:
Biologist have shown that the genome of conifers such as spruce, pine, and fir has remained very much the same for over 100 million years. This remarkable genomic stability explains the resemblance between today's conifers and fossils dating back to the days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

The genome of conifers such as spruce, pine, and fir has remained very much the same for over 100 million years.
Credit: © Goinyk Volodymyr / Fotolia

A study published by Université Laval researchers and their colleagues from the Canadian Forest Service reveals that the genome of conifers such as spruce, pine, and fir has remained very much the same for over 100 million years. This remarkable genomic stability explains the resemblance between today's conifers and fossils dating back to the days when dinosaurs roamed Earth. Details of this finding are presented in a recent issue of the journal BMC Biology.

Related Articles


The team supervised by Professor Jean Bousquet, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Forest and Environmental Genomics, came to this conclusion after analyzing the genome of conifers and comparing it to that of flowering plants. Both plant groups stem from the same ancestor but diverged some 300 million years ago.

Researchers compared the genome macrostructure for 157 gene families present both in conifers and flowering plants. They observed that the genome of conifers has remained particularly stable for at least 100 million years, while that of flowering plants has undergone major changes in the same period. "That doesn't mean there haven't been smaller scale modifications such as genetic mutations," points out Jean Bousquet. "However, the macrostructure of the conifer genome has been remarkably stable over the ages," adds the professor from the Université Laval Faculty of Forestry, Geography, and Geomatics.

This great stability goes hand in hand with the low speciation rate of conifers. The world is currently home to only 600 species of conifers, while there are over 400,000 species of flowering plants. "Conifers appear to have achieved a balance with their environment very early," remarks Professor Bousquet. "Still today, without artifice, these plants thrive over much of the globe, particularly in cold climates. In contrast, flowering plants are under intense evolutionary pressure as they battle for survival and reproduction," he concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université Laval. The original article was written by Jean Hamann. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nathalie Pavy, Betty Pelgas, Jérôme Laroche, Philippe Rigault, Nathalie Isabel, Jean Bousquet. A spruce gene map infers ancient plant genome reshuffling and subsequent slow evolution in the gymnosperm lineage leading to extant conifers. BMC Biology, 2012; 10 (1): 84 DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-10-84

Cite This Page:

Université Laval. "Your Christmas tree and its genome have remained very much the same over the last 100 million years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213132542.htm>.
Université Laval. (2012, December 13). Your Christmas tree and its genome have remained very much the same over the last 100 million years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213132542.htm
Université Laval. "Your Christmas tree and its genome have remained very much the same over the last 100 million years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213132542.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. 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:

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