Single-celled predator evolves tiny, human-like 'eye'

July 1, 2015
An illustration of the the eye-like structure in warnowiid dinoflagellates. Credit: Brian Leander and Greg Gavelis

A single-celled marine plankton evolved a miniature version of a multi-cellular eye, possibly to help see its prey better, according to University of British Columbia (UBC) research published today in Nature.

In fact, the 'ocelloid' within the planktonic predator looks so much like a complex eye that it was originally mistaken for the eye of an animal that the had eaten.

"It's an amazingly complex structure for a to have evolved," said lead author Greg Gavelis, a zoology PhD student at UBC. "It contains a collection of sub-cellular organelles that look very much like the lens, cornea, iris and retina of multicellular eyes found in humans and other larger animals."

Scientists still don't know exactly how the , called warnowiids, use the eye. Warnowiids use small harpoon-like structures to hunt prey cells in the plankton, many of which are transparent.

The researchers speculate that the eye helps warnowiids detect shifts in light as it passes through their transparent prey. The structure could then send chemical messages to other parts of the cell, showing them in which direction to hunt.

"The internal organization of the retinal component of the ocelloid is reminiscent of the polarizing filters on the lenses of cameras and sunglasses," said UBC zoologist Brian Leander, senior author on the paper. "It has hundreds of closely packed membranes lined up in parallel."

The researchers—including the labs of UBC microbiologist Patrick Keeling and virologist Curtis Suttle—gathered samples of warnowiids off the coasts of B.C. and Japan.

A transmission electron micrograph showing the eye-like structure in warnowiid dinoflagellates. Credit: Brian Leander and Greg Gavelis

The team analyzed the -like structure using state of the art microscopy at the Centre for High-Throughput Phenogenomics at UBC. The microscopes enable the reconstruction of three dimensional structures at the subcellular level.

The work sheds new light on how very different organisms—in this case warnowiids and animals—can evolve similar traits in response to their environments, a process known as convergent evolution.

Light micrograph (left), illustration (center) and transmission electron micrograph (right) show the eye-like structure in warnowiid dinoflagellates. Credit: Hoppenrath and Leander

"When we see such similar structural complexity at fundamentally different levels of organization in lineages that are very distantly related, then you get a much deeper understanding of convergence," says Leander.

Explore further: Gigantic whales have stretchy 'bungee cord' nerves

More information: Eye-like ocelloids are built from different endosymbiotically acquired components, Nature, dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14593

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16 comments

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JVK
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 01, 2015
Excerpt: The work sheds new light on how very different organisms—in this case warnowiids and animals—can evolve similar traits in response to their environments, a process known as convergent evolution.

My comment: Epigenetic effects of nutrients link the fixation of RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions in the context of the pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to humans.

Reporting nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations as if they exemplified convergent evolution is like reporting the re-evolution of the bacterial flagellum in four days. See: http://www.the-sc...ewiring/

The typical misrepresentations of biologically-based cause and effect now extend from the complexity of the flagellum to the complexity of the eye. When will evolutionary theorists stop portraying links between ecological variation and ecological adaptations as if they evolved?
JVK
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 01, 2015
See also: http://www.evolut...281.html

Excerpt: There is no "Made by Yahweh" engraved on the side of the bacterial rotary motor -- the flagellum. In order to find out what or who its designer is, one must go outside the narrow discipline of biology.

Agreed. If you understand that it is biophysically constrained, you can link the RNA-mediated chemistry of protein folding to the conserved molecular mechanisms of cell type differentiation that link eye-like structures and flagella in single-celled organisms to the movement of multicellular humans towards appealing odors, which are unconsciously associated with visual input.

If you engraved "Made by Evolution" on the side of the bacterial rotary motor or the eye, you might be considered to be a biologically uninformed science idiot who knows nothing about physics or chemistry and can't explain anything about evolution to a serious scientist.
Vietvet
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 02, 2015
@JVK

Do you hear it?

The laughter from everyone reading your comments, especially for you linking to an intelligent design blog.

JVK, King of the Cranks.
Shabs42
5 / 5 (6) Jul 02, 2015
It's like he just pulled out a biology textbook and just linked random big words together hoping to prove a point.
DavidTheShepherd
1 / 5 (5) Jul 02, 2015
"Single-celled predator evolves tiny, human-like 'eye'"


This heading and the whole tone of the article is extremely misleading and dishonest.

The immediate question that arises is whether they have been observing the population of this creature for the past 100 years and seen that population actually change from having no such structure to actually end up having one.

If not, then the article misleads one into thinking that this supposed "evolution" has actually been recorded when in fact it appears to be a simple unwarranted speculation by the scientists that this organism had somehow acquired the new structure all by itself after not having it in the first place.

If they discovered the creature with this structure intact then they have absolutely no basis for stating that it "evolved" it.
All they can do is marvel that the creature has such a structure and that it is far more complex than what they expected to find on a single cellular organism.
Eikka
5 / 5 (8) Jul 02, 2015
If they discovered the creature with this structure intact then they have absolutely no basis for stating that it "evolved" it.


So, now that the watch no longer points to a watchmaker in any shape or form, how do you suppose God?

the article misleads one into thinking that this supposed "evolution" has actually been recorded


It's the only plausible course of events, because assuming that such creatures simply pop into existence out of nowhere is ridiculous.

Claiming that such a thing hasn't evolved is like claiming that trees don't come from seeds. Well if not, then you have to give a better explaination for trees.
EnricM
5 / 5 (5) Jul 02, 2015
@JVK

Do you hear it?

The laughter from everyone reading your comments, especially for you linking to an intelligent design blog.

JVK, King of the Cranks.


I blocked the guy. You can just create your own JVK stuff taking some random stuff and adding Pheromones to it ;)
EWH
1 / 5 (3) Jul 02, 2015
This means that the warnowiids have some means of processing the information from the eye and selecting different actions based on that information -- this was previously thought to require a nervous system. Since this sort of computational activity occurs in one type of cell, then given its huge advantages for all sorts of purposes affecting survival and reproduction, it almost certainly occurs in other types of cells. I would suspect the cytoskeleton to be most of the computational as well as effector system. Nanopoulos' research back in the late 90s/ early 200s showed that mucrotubules have many features that suggest a computational role, both classical and quantum, including the potential ability to stably, topologically encode qubits.
JVK
1 / 5 (3) Jul 02, 2015
Thanks EWH.

See also: http://medicalxpr...med.html

The obvious link from RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions to cell type differentiation via receptor-mediated events continues to escape those who understand nothing about biologically-based cause and effect.

Is there a way that you can help others understand the need for receptor-mediated events that link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in all genera?

Do you know of other physicists whose works address the computational role of cell type differentiation via classical physics and quantum physics, which include the potential ability for the nutrient-dependent stability required to, topologically encode qubits?

Are you familiar with the works of Luca Turin?
See for example: Molecular Vibration-Sensing Component in Human Olfaction
http://dx.doi.org....0055780

JVK
1 / 5 (3) Jul 02, 2015
JVK, King of the Cranks.


See also: Proteins 'ring like bells': Quantum mechanics and biochemical reactions
http://www.scienc...2424.htm

and
Solving Biology's Mysteries Using Quantum Mechanics: The new field of quantum biology applies the craziness of quantum physics to biology's most fundamental processes.
http://discoverma...tum-life
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2015
@ren: Prove it, and remember you have to prove a better alternative since about 2 centuries:

"Evolution is a cornerstone of modern science, accepted as one of the most reliably established of all facts and theories of science, based on evidence not just from the biological sciences, but also from anthropology, psychology, astrophysics, chemistry, geology, physics, mathematics, and other scientific disciplines, as well as behavioral and social sciences. Understanding of evolution has made significant contributions to humanity, including preventing and treating human disease, new agricultural products, industrial innovations, computer science and rapid advances in life sciences.[24][25][26] Discoveries in evolutionary biology have made a significant impact not just within the traditional branches of biology, but also in other academic disciplines (e.g., biological anthropology and evolutionary psychology) and on society at large.[27][28]"

[tbctd]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2015
[ctd]

[ https://en.wikipe...volution ]

As a comparison, what has magic thinking done lately? Killed millions of africans by lying about condoms (christianist sects), and tens of thousands of asians by religious genocide (muhammedanist sects).

@EnricM: Yes, a JVK generator is as simple as a Deepak generator. And generally the "pigeons and chess" board appends to creationist (pheromone) cranks, added to that it isn't only their own brain function they threaten by mush. However, it is also hilarious behavior, think clowns and drooling babies, so I keep them visible.

It is a fun reminder that however low humans can reach, some crank will always strive to reach below.
JVK
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2015
Ecological adaptation is the cornerstone of modern science. It is linked from ecological variation to RNA-mediated cell type differentiation via amino acid substitutions.

Cell type differentiation is perturbed by mutations, which is how mutations contribute to virus-driven genomic entropy that is prevented by the anti-entropic epigenetic effects of nutrient-dependent protein folding.

Comments by Torbjorn_Larsson_OM remain among the most comical of all who think they are informed, at a time when people like George FR Ellis continue to claim that they are touting pseudoscientific nonsense.

http://www.nature...-1.16535
"...theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man's-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any."

Evolutionary theories are placed into that same context by all serious scientists who understand how cell type differentiation occurs.
Mr_Ed
5 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2015
JVK should change his pseudonym to WTF. Like really, WTF.
His output looks more like a Brownian phrase generator using snippets of real sentences reassembled to resemble something intelligible.

However, the article itself is interesting. The fact that such a structure could exist in a single cell organism is amazing, although it would definitely provide a benefit because polarization detection would make their response more efficient overall.
JVK
1 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2015
The light-induced de novo creation of amino acids establishes the required link between the epigenetic landscape and the physical landscape of DNA, which makes the response to all other input more efficient when RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions are fixed in organized genomes of all genera via their physiology of reproduction.

Two epigenetic traps are required. One links light and water to the de novo creation of amino acids. The second trap links the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes to RNA-mediated cell type differentiation via the conserved molecular mechanisms we detailed in the context of our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review.

His output looks more like a Brownian phrase generator...

Thanks. Yours looks like it came from a talking horse's ass.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2015
Thanks. Yours looks like it came from a talking horse's ass.
@JK
no, a horses *ss would say something like the following AFTER admitting to failing out of college
I am a serious scientist (medical laboratory scientist) with 40 years experience in diagnostic medicine
this is called a FELONY, as it is illegal to practice medicine without a license, and you aint getting a license without the education, mensa-boy
another example of horse chips falling
In the past two years I've learned enough about physics to link the speed of light on contact with water to the de novo creation of amino acids...
this is definitely a NOBEL prize winner if true!
.. but you have neither evidence NOR the prize (except the booby prize maybe)
horses *sses also like to link BLOGS and PERFUME SITES which are known for PSEUDOSCIENCE and CREATIONIST ideals instead of actual science studies or reputable journals... like you do

QUIT TROLLING with your religion

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