Rafting rodents from Africa may have been ancestors of South American species

COLLEGE STATION, - Forty million years ago, rodents from Africa may have colonized South America by rafting or swimming across the Atlantic, Texas A&M University biologists theorize by studying the evolution of rodents, looking at their genes instead of their fossils - an approach that promises to revolutionize the field of evolutionary biology.

"We have good evidence that suggests that South America was founded by a single ancestral stock of caviomorph relatives from Africa," says Rodney Honeycutt, a Texas A&M professor of biology who has been studying the evolution of rodents for the last eight years.

"The radiations of these rodents to South America are too young for continental drift to have played a role in their colonization by African ancestors. This presents a dilemma, because either caviomorph ancestors dispersed to South America from Africa over water (e.g., by rafting) or the caviomorph radiations are considerably older than suggested by the paleontological evidence. We're seeking answers by using molecular data to address these questions."

Honeycutt, his Ph.D. student, Diane Rowe, and a former student, Ron Adkins from the University of Massachusetts, are using genetics to study the evolution of South American and African rodents. The approach has been to sequence specific genes from several diverse rodent species and then use changes in these genes to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these rodents.

Scientists sequenced genes of several rodents and looked at the changes - or mutations - among the genes. Then they compared the number of changes between the genetic sequences of the rodents and constructed the rodents' evolutionary tree.

"We found that the South American and African radiations were unique but they do share a common ancestry," Honeycutt says, adding that the time when the two groups diverged may be considerably older (45 million years) than what the fossils are suggesting (36 million years).

Contact: Judith Whtie
Texas A&M University

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Adolescent rodents experience milder hangover effects than do adult rodents
2. Roadsigns for rodents
3. Sudden removal of fat impairs immune function in rodents, biologists find
4. Brain compounds anti-aggression effects appear to reverse in monogamous male rodents
5. Visiting African scientists collaborate with MBL scientists on infectious diseases
6. For Africas valuable mahoganies, its the soil, stupid
7. Genetic mutation linked to more aggressive breast cancer found more often in African-Americans
8. More aggressive breast cancer tumors found in African American women
9. Satellites map volcanic home of Africas endangered gorillas
10. The first domesticated donkey was born in Africa
11. National Academies Advisory: June 25 UN public briefing on agriculture in Africa

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: