HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Tight-knit family: Even microbes favor their own kin

HOUSTON, Aug. 23, 2006 -- New research published by Rice University biologists in this week's issue of Nature finds that even the simplest of social creatures single-celled amoebae have the ability not only to recognize their own family members but also to selectively discriminate in favor of them.

The study provides further proof of the surprisingly sophisticated social behavior of microbes, which have been shown to exhibit levels of cooperation more typically associated with animals.

"By recognizing kin, a social microbe can direct altruistic behavior towards its relatives," said postdoctoral researcher Natasha Mehdiabadi, the lead author of the study.

Recognizing one's own family is a common trait among animals be they chimpanzees, ground squirrels or paper wasps and because kin recognition can strongly influence cooperative behaviors it can also significantly impact the social evolution of species.

While scientists have repeatedly documented cases of kin recognition, the Rice study is among the first to document the more sophisticated trait of kin discrimination in a social microorganism.

The new study is based on an examination of single-celled Dictyostelium purpureum, a common soil microbe that feeds on bacteria. In the wild, when food runs short, D. purpureum aggregate together by the thousands, forming first into long narrow slugs and then into hair-like fruiting bodies. Resembling miniature mushrooms, these fruiting bodies consist of both a freestanding stalk and the spores that sit atop it. Ultimately, the spores are carried away, usually on the legs of passing creatures, to start the life cycle all over again. But in order to disperse the spores, some of the colony's individuals must altruistically sacrifice themselves in order to make the stalk.

Mehdiabadi and others in the lab of Rice evolutionary biologists Joan Strassmann and David Queller sought to find out whether D. purpureum
'"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
23-Aug-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Bigelow Laboratory Scientists develop new approach to study marine microbes
2. Study finds fecal microbes high in New Orleans sediments following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
3. Genomics throws species definition in question for microbes
4. Darwins famous finches and Venters marine microbes
5. Vitamin D3 provides the skin with protection from harmful microbes
6. Hidden-hero microbes in soil, water may help naturally clean toxic sites
7. Relative abundance of common microbes living in the gut may contribute to obesity
8. New text focuses on microbes in the mouth
9. Diversity promotes cooperation among microbes
10. Using microbes to fuel the US hydrogen economy
11. Report focuses on the role good microbes play in future medicine

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


(Date:8/29/2018)... ... August 28, 2018 , ... Johanna Dwyer, founder and ... women of excellence in the field of intellectual property, and named Daniela Sanchez ... in IP Award aims to encourage and support women in their pursuit of ...
(Date:8/26/2018)... ... August 23, 2018 , ... Clinical laboratories have increasingly ... over more commonly used analytical techniques. However, implementation can be daunting due to ... validation of methods that must be undertaken by the laboratory if they are ...
(Date:8/23/2018)... ... August 21, 2018 , ... Mandy is an eight-year-old mini Australian shepherd and a ... places. She went through three surgeries to try to repair the leg and each ... use the leg so her owner, along with her veterinarian, decided to amputate. With ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2018)... ... August 21, 2018 , ... ... medical device compliance and commercialization, has just released a new paper discussing ... presented by Dr. Mario Kossmann, ESEP at the 28th Annual INCOSE International ...
(Date:8/17/2018)... ... , ... The opening of the new Titusville facility marks the completion of ... had a well established local presence, servicing the Space Coast since 1972. Astro Pak ... ongoing work at the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) in support of NASA’s upcoming Space ...
(Date:8/17/2018)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2018 , ... ... genetic testing, announced their results from the AmbryShare project were published today in ... genes in the largest exome study ever conducted. , Every year hereditary breast ...
(Date:8/14/2018)... ... August 13, 2018 , ... ... hoods and biological safety cabinets. In addition, Labconco produces other lab equipment, such ... of its commitment to quality and consistency in design and manufacturing. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: