absolutely necessary factor for the formation of the leg joints. In this new study, the authors go one step further to describe the elements controlled by the dysfusion gene that are responsible for directing changes in the shape of cells to form the epithelial folds that give rise to joints. The study concludes that the apical constriction mediated by the Rho1 protein, a widely described process for the change of shape of epithelial tissues, is controlled by dysf to give rise to these characteristic folds in the imaginal paw disc. The size of the genome varies enormously between organisms, although it is not directly related to the complexity of organisms, especially among multicellular ones. Studying evolution and the great diversity of genome size is of great interest to biologists, although it has rarely been investigated on a large scale between species. A study led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has carried out a comparative analysis of the factors that have conditioned the evolution of genome size in amphibians,

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the vertebrates with the greatest variation in their Cocos Islands Keelings Email List genome size. This study, the scientists point out, helps to understand that the relationship between genome, genes and phenotype (or appearance) is less than it seems. The work is published in the magazine Natura Ecology & Evolution. Despite the high diversity of reproductive modes in this group of animals, and unlike what was considered until now, this study has not found a relationship between the diversity in the life cycle of these species and the size of the genome. “We have seen that amphibian genomes underwent a huge leap in size very early in their evolution. Thus, that of one of the three groups of amphibians that exist today, the salamanders, is much greater than that of the other two, frogs and caecilians. However, the rest of the evolution in amphibians has been very gradual ”, explains Iván Gómez Mestre,

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CSIC researcher at the Doñana Biological Station. “This type of information is important to better understand what factors shape the size and architecture of genomes. Although many organisms operate with a relatively small number of fairly conserved genes, they often differ greatly in the size of their genomes, indicating that in addition to genes there are large amounts of noncoding DNA, and the variation between species in that amount of DNA is huge, ”says the scientist. The data used in this study have been obtained from tissue samples from museum specimens and combined with new records, which have been mapped onto a family tree of more than 460 species. “This is the largest database of genome sizes in amphibians to date,” says Gómez Mestre. The crossing of these data has made it possible to determine not only the changes in the evolutionary rate of the amphibian

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