Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice

Date:
July 30, 2014
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
By modifying the embryonic development of mice, scientists have reproduced in the laboratory the changes in teeth shape which, in mammals, took millions of years of evolution to take place.

Mouse (stock image). Scientists have able to experimentally reproduce morphological changes in mice which took millions of years to occur in nature.
Credit: © Eric Isselée / Fotolia

A group of researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have been able to experimentally reproduce morphological changes in mice which took millions of years to occur. in nature Through small and gradual modifications in the embryonic development of mice teeth, induced in the laboratory, scientists have obtained teeth which morphologically are very similar to those observed in the fossil registry of rodent species which separated from mice millions of years ago.

To modify the development of their teeth, the team from the Institute of Biotechnology of the University of Helsinki worked with embryonic teeth cultures from mice not coded by the ectodysplasin A (EDA) protein, which regulates the formation of structures and differentiation of organs in the embryo throughout its development. The teeth obtained with these cultures which present this mutation develop into very basic forms, with very uniform crowns. Scientists gradually added different amounts of the EDA protein to the embryonic cells and let them develop.

The researchers observed that the teeth formed with different degrees of complexity in their crown. The more primitive changes observed coincide with those which took place in animals of the Triassic period, some two hundred million years ago. The development of more posterior patterns coincides with the different stages of evolution found in rodents which became extinct already in the Palaeocene Epoch, some 60 million years ago. Researchers have thus achieved experimentally to reproduce the transitions observed in the fossil registry of mammal teeth.

The team of scientists were able to contrast the shape of these teeth with a computer-generated prediction model created by Isaac Salazar-Ciudad, researcher at the UAB and at the University of Helsinki, which reproduces how the tooth changes from a group of equal cells to a complex three-dimensional structure, with the full shape of a molar tooth, calculating the position of space of each cell. The model is capable of predicting the changes in the morphology of the tooth when a gene is modified, and therefore offers an explanation of the mechanisms that cause these specific changes to occur in the shape of teeth throughout evolution.

"Evolution has been explained as the ability of individuals to adapt to their environment in different ways" Isaac Salazar-Ciudad states, "but we do not know why or how individuals differ morphologically. The research helps to understand evolution, in each generation, as a game between the possible variations in form and natural selection."

In addition to the University of Helsinki, Finland, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, participating in the research were scientists from the University of California, San Francisco; the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing; the Monash University, Victoria, and the Museum Victoria in Melbourne. The research appears today in Nature.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Enni Harjunmaa, Kerstin Seidel, Teemu Häkkinen, Elodie Renvoisé, Ian J. Corfe, Aki Kallonen, Zhao-Qun Zhang, Alistair R. Evans, Marja L. Mikkola, Isaac Salazar-Ciudad, Ophir D. Klein, Jukka Jernvall. Replaying evolutionary transitions from the dental fossil record. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature13613

Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730133255.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2014, July 30). Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730133255.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730133255.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. 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