Why have sex? The answer is not as simple as we thought

Theories abound as to why organisms favour sexual reproduction, but testing these has been notoriously difficult. A common view is that sexual reproduction helps to reduce the effects of damaging mutations within a population. Now researchers from the Rockefeller University have tested this premise, using careful measurements of bacterial populations, and provide evidence against it.

The research published today in Journal of Biology examines how mutant bacteria respond to different forms of stress, from cold temperature to the inhibition of protein synthesis. Prof. Stanislas Leibler and Dr. Roy Kishony found that, on average, mutants fare better when they are stressed.

"In contrast to the perception that stress always reduces the organism's ability to tolerate mutations, our measurements identified stresses that do the opposite that is, despite decreasing wild-type growth, on average they alleviate the effect of deleterious mutation," write the authors.

The scientists measured the 'fitness' of 65 E. coli strains carrying individual mutations and 12 control strains under normal and stressful conditions, by calculating their growth rates. To do this they developed a method that is a thousand times more sensitive than current methods at measuring bacterial growth rates. All the bacterial strains tested were engineered so that they produced an enzyme from fireflies called luciferase, which emits light. The number of bacteria in a population could then be counted by measuring how much light those bugs emitted. Comparing the rates of growth of control and mutant cells under the different environmental conditions showed that on average, the difference in growth rate was smaller when the bacteria were stressed.

The advantage of sexual reproduction is widely held to be that it allows harmful mutations to be efficiently purged from the genome. Recombination of DNA during sexual reproduction splits up pairs of mutations, increasing t

Contact: Gemma Bradley
BioMed Central

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. U of T research answers key question in biochemistry
2. IU and Purdue scientists to answer questions about Brood X periodical cicadas
3. Just how much water do we really need? The answer may depend on our age
4. Evo-devo biology tackles evolutionary historys unanswered questions
5. Integrated animal model answers questions about environment
6. U-M researchers seek answers for African-Americans at risk for prostate cancer
7. Is remote sensing the answer to todays agriculture problems?
8. Where is the worlds greatest biodiversity? Smithsonian scientists find the answer is a question of scale
9. NU scientist finds answers in Antarctic icefish
10. New technique answers one of waters basic mysteries
11. Volcano helps meteorologists find answer to climate change mystery

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/20/2019)... , ... November 20, 2019 , ... BioInformatics Inc., part ... science tools market, today announced the winners of the Life Science Industry Awards for ... the Life Science Industry Awards – Innovation: , Most Innovative New Product – Cell ...
(Date:11/19/2019)... ... November 19, 2019 , ... Diagenode, Inc., ... Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader in life science ... offer Single-Cell ATAC-Seq (scATAC-Seq) Services, featuring Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, to help ...
(Date:11/19/2019)... ... ... Hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and brought to you by ... of MJBiz business professionals in the world. With over 1,300 exhibitors from more than ... show quite like it. Atlantic Ultraviolet will exhibit at Booth C9217, showcasing its ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2019)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... December 03, 2019 , ... A ... studies have shown can reduce and even reverse fibrosis (scar tissue) buildup – also ... at Stanford University School of Medicine, was conducted on mice. , The tumor-destroying ...
(Date:11/22/2019)... ... November 22, 2019 , ... Modality Solutions, ... cold chain validation guide to meet and exceed increasingly stringent regulatory expectations ... biopharmaceutical industry leaders, the September 19, 2019 webinar was well received and ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... November 12, 2019 , ... ... software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that Immatics Biotechnologies , ... Genedata Biologics® to streamline their R&D operations related to the ...
(Date:11/6/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Diversified Technologies, Inc. has introduced a PEF production ... to improve processing. , The DTI Industrial PEF Unit can pre-treat whole pieces of ... yields by up to 50% and achieve up to an 80% reduction of drying ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: