Metabolism gives a boost to understanding plant and animal nutrient evolution

Feb 14, 2014

For the ancient ancestors of plants and animals, a partnership with other microbes was once formed during an endosymbiotic event to give rise to eukaryotes. Plants and animals, over billions of years of trial and error, made efficient use of different energy sources in the environment, namely carbon dioxide and oxygen.

In the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, authors Maurino, et. al., explore the evolution of a family of enzymes, called 2-hydroxy acid oxidase, or 2-HAOX, that break down fats in both plant and animals. They wanted to test and see if they could trace the evolution of 2-HOAX back to a that once gave rise to these enzymes. They built a database of all known 2-HAOX sequences in plants, animals and bacteria and reconstructed phylogenetic trees to test their hypothesis as wells as examining the functional differences through enzyme tests.

Their data supports the evolution of 2-HOAX from a common ancestral gene, with plants and animals evolving these enzymes independently, in ancient organisms responsible for the evolution of simpler animals and plants. This provides an example of how plants and have adapted differently to similar environmental conditions in order to meet their energy needs.

Explore further: How a scorpion gets its sting

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How a scorpion gets its sting

Jan 14, 2014

Defensins, as their name implies, are small proteins found in plants and animals that help ward off viral, bacterial or fungal pests. One fascinating question of invertebrate evolution is how these proteins evolved into venoms ...

Move over elephants: Mimosas have memories too

Jan 15, 2014

Not long after publishing a paper in a prestigious journal about plants being able to 'talk' using sound, Monica Gagliano is back with her new findings showing that they can 'learn'.

Man's best friend equally adapted to high altitudes of Tibet

Feb 11, 2014

As humans have expanded into new environments and civilizations, man's best friend, dogs, have been faithful companions at their sides. Now, with DNA sequencing technology readily available to examine the dog genome, scientists ...

Plants recycle too

Feb 13, 2014

A research team from VIB and Ghent University (Belgium), and Staffan Persson from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam (Germany) has now identified a new protein complex which is crucial for endocytosis ...

Recommended for you

Parasitic worm genomes: largest-ever dataset released

16 hours ago

The largest collection of helminth genomic data ever assembled has been published in the new, open-access WormBase-ParaSite. Developed jointly by EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, this new ...

Male sex organ distinguishes 30 millipede species

17 hours ago

The unique shapes of male sex organs have helped describe thirty new millipede species from the Great Western Woodlands in the Goldfields, the largest area of relatively undisturbed Mediterranean climate ...

How can we avoid kelp beds turning into barren grounds?

21 hours ago

Urchins are marine invertebrates that mould the biological richness of marine grounds. However, an excessive proliferation of urchins may also have severe ecological consequences on marine grounds as they ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.