Title: Functional divergence of former alleles in an ancient asexual invertebrate
Authors: Pouchkina-Stantcheva, Natalia N
McGee, Brian M
Boschetti, Chiara
Tolleter, Dimitri
Chakrabortee, Sohini
Popova, Antoaneta V
Meersman, Filip
Macherel, David
Hincha, Dirk K
Tunnacliffe, Alan # ×
Issue Date: Oct-2007
Publisher: Amer assoc advancement science
Series Title: Science vol:318 issue:5848 pages:268-271
Abstract: Theory suggests it should be difficult for asexual organisms to adapt to a changing environment because genetic diversity can only arise from mutations accumulating within direct antecedents and not through sexual exchange. In an asexual microinvertebrate, the bdelloid rotifer, we have observed a mechanism by which such organisms could acquire the diversity needed for adaptation. Gene copies most likely representing former alleles have diverged in function so that the proteins they encode play complementary roles in survival of dry conditions. One protein prevents desiccation-sensitive enzymes from aggregating during drying, whereas its counterpart does not have this activity, but is able to associate with phospholipid bilayers and is potentially involved in maintenance of membrane integrity. The functional divergence of former alleles observed here suggests that adoption of asexual reproduction could itself be an evolutionary mechanism for the generation of diversity.
ISSN: 0036-8075
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Molecular Imaging and Photonics
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:

There are no files associated with this item.

Request a copy


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.

© Web of science