HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Biologists ID molecular block for social 'cheaters'

HOUSTON, Oct. 6, 2004 -- Social cooperation is one of the most difficult adaptations for evolutionary biologists to explain because competition for resources inside the collective should lead to evolved traits that allow individuals to "cheat" the collective, win more resources and reproduce faster than their more cooperative neighbors -- thus undermining the social collective.

In new research, evolutionary biologists and geneticists at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have isolated a genetic mechanism that counters competitive pressures and stabilizes cooperation. Their research appears in the Oct. 7 issue of the journal Nature.

Using the latest tools of molecular genetics, the researchers found that the phenomenon known as pleiotropy -- which occurs when a gene affects more than one inherited trait -- plays a crucial role in preventing "cheaters" from exploiting their neighbors within slime mold colonies that are formed by the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

"What we've found is a molecular block to cheating and the genetic mechanism it relies on-- tying cooperative genes tightly with the essential function of reproduction," said paper co-author Joan Strassmann, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice. "Such a mechanism makes the loss of social genes costly to cheaters, and we believe this pleiotropic mechanism may be indicative of a general mechanism that's employed in many species to stabilize cooperation."

The Rice-Baylor experiments draw upon one of the most extraordinary examples of social cooperation among microorganisms: when slime mold amoebae run out of the bacteria they eat, they group, then form a fruiting body in which about one-fifth of the single-celled individuals within the colony sacrifice themselves to form the stalk that holds up the spores.

Before forming a stalk, the colony goes through a stage where it forms a slug-like structure. During this stage, cells produ
'"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
6-Oct-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Biologists at Tufts University discover 1 reason why chromosomes break, often leading to cancer
2. Biologists prove critical step in membrane fusion
3. Biologists call for better choice of model organisms in evo-devo
4. Biologists produce global map of plant biodiversity
5. Biologists develop large gene dataset for rice plant
6. Biologists probe the machinery of cellular protein factories
7. American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting August 5-9 in Boston
8. Biologists find regions of rice domestication
9. How healthy is that marsh? Biologists count parasites
10. Biologists estimate the value of services provided by insects
11. Biologists develop genome-wide map of miRNA-mRNA interactions

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/26/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 25, ... ... clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel pharmaceuticals targeting mitochondria, in partnership with Essex ... enrolment in its pivotal U.S. Phase 3 VISTA-2 study of SkQ1 ophthalmic ...
(Date:8/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2020 , ... ... Rigaku Corporation has been published and is now available on the company’s ... X-ray diffraction—serves the X-ray analysis community, presenting current news and crystallographic research. ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 19, 2020 , ... ... conference and expo uniting life science, data science, informatics and IT leaders goes ... “In this period of uncertainty and change, Bio-IT takes the leadership role of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of the 100 most ... industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how they have inspired ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... can combine up to three different materials for use with CRM, neurostimulation, vascular, ... to three materials to meet specific design requirements, performance, and cost criteria; especially ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Join experts from Reed Tech , Gary Saner, Sr. ... one hour live webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11am EDT ... medical devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA has departments dealing with medical device ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... Bode Technology, ... expansion of laboratory operations through its COVID-19 testing service, Bode-CARES . Bode-CARES ... , Bode-CARES provides a turnkey solution that includes a comprehensive collection ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: