Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA provides information on origins of yeast, helps evolutionaly biologists

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
A problem in evolutionary biology has been turned into a new tool to better understand phylogeny in closely related species. Resequencing ribosomal DNA in closely related yeast species has given them new information about the origins of modern yeast strains and a useful tool for evolutionary biologists.

This is a photo of ascus, a sexual spore-bearing cell, plus ascospores of the yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus.
Credit: Institute of Food Research

We all know yeasts make beer and bread but their huge contribution to science, including helping us understand the nuts and bolts of life itself, tends to stay out of the spotlight. Over the past few years, through studies carried out on yeast DNA, biologists have begun to learn that something that looks like a simple cog in all living things is actually performing an intricately choreographed dance. In the same way that the Charleston differs from the Waltz, the dance displayed by this cog is faster and uses different steps from other parts of the yeast machinery. What's more, the dancers leave tell-tale footprints behind in their DNA.

The team at National Collection of Yeast Cultures at the Institute of Food Research have made a computer app to spot these footprints, and to decode the footprints in order to learn more about the rhythm of the dance and how the dance partners have come together and moved apart. The 'dancers' in question are the ribosomal RNA genes which give shape to the ribosome, a tiny protein-making machine found in all living cells.

If the ribosome goes wrong the cell dies, so its blueprint is highly protected. Not so protected though that small changes in the DNA, our footprints, don't occur. Biologists often use these changes to map various bits of the tree of life, so it's important to be able to track even the smallest alterations.

With funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the NCYC team have now achieved this, using huge DNA datasets to uncover the footprints left behind in yeasts.

"Our app is a very strict judge of the dance steps," said bioinformatician Dr Jo Dicks. "The fast tempo of the ribosomal RNA dance lets us detect very close relationships between different yeasts."

"As well as helping biologists around the world to work out the relationships between other species using their unique footprints, in future we hope to use yeasts with beneficial footprints in the biorefining" said Dr Ian Roberts, NCYC curator. The NCYC team work closely with the Biorefinery Centre, also based at the IFR on the Norwich Research Park.

"Our long-term aim is to exploit our new knowledge to brew up better biofuels and chemicals from yeast, and so reduce dependency on oil as we move towards a new green economy," said Dr Roberts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "DNA provides information on origins of yeast, helps evolutionaly biologists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101403.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2014, March 27). DNA provides information on origins of yeast, helps evolutionaly biologists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101403.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "DNA provides information on origins of yeast, helps evolutionaly biologists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101403.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
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