HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Time to rewrite the species rulebook, MSU scientists say

EAST LANSING, Mich. - From person to piranha to petunia, it's pretty easy to spot different species in the human-scale part of the plant and animal kingdoms. But a new study shows that species differences aren't so clear, at least as currently measured, when it comes to microscopic bacteria.

MSU researchers have spotted significant differences in genetic libraries among thought-to-be similar bacteria strains. The results, published this week in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that new definitions are needed to catalogue bacteria single-celled organisms with at least a 3.5 billion-year history.

"It's important to point out the importance of these small microbes on Earth; even though they are small, their mass in soil and water is equal to that of all plants," said MSU microbiologist James Tiedje, one of the study's authors. "Furthermore, they are responsible for recycling the key elements of life so life on Earth can continue."

DNA, used by all life including bacteria to store genetic information, is a double-stranded molecule. When a given DNA molecule is split in two, for instance by heating it up, its two strands will spontaneously find each other, or reassociate, when the temperature drops.

Scientists have long exploited this fact in their rough rule-of-thumb approach for saying just what makes up a species of bacteria. Single strands of DNA from two bacteria are mixed together. If most of these strands reassociate specifically, if 70 percent of strands from bacteria A come together with strands from bacteria B then the two bacteria strains are said to members of the same species.

Tiedje and his MSU colleague, microbiologist Konstantinos Konstantinidis, set out to put this mix and match approach to the test. The two scientists selected 70 related bacteria whose genomes, or complete genetic libraries, had been fully sequenced.

A sequenced genome gives scientists what amounts to a
'"/>

Contact: Jim Tiedje
tiedje@msu.edu
517-355-0271
Michigan State University
8-Feb-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New study rewrites evolutionary history of vespid wasps
2. Tiny bones rewrite textbooks
3. West Australian fossil find rewrites land mammal evolution
4. Finding rewrites the evolutionary history of the origin of potatoes
5. Lost forest yields several new species
6. Surprising new species of light-harvesting bacterium discovered in Yellowstone
7. Smithsonians National Zoo researchers use electronic eggs to help save threatened species
8. One species, many genomes
9. Reconstructing the biology of extinct species: A new approach
10. Researchers find 24 species believed new to science in Suriname rainforest
11. Scientists discover 5 new species of sea slugs from the Tropical Eastern Pacific

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Time rewrite the species rulebook MSU scientists say

(Date:8/20/2014)... /CNW/ -  Issue Serious allergic reactions ... life threatening for some children.    What you ... have food allergies and this number may be increasing, especially ... estimated to have food allergies.  The symptoms ... hives to breathing difficulties and loss of consciousness. Symptoms can ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... of the Para and Mato Grosso states of Brazil. ... in order to deforest the land. Deforestation is the ... the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. ... ranches, or urban use. The herringbone-patterned tan lines cutting ... the middle of the image are evidence of deforestation ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which aims to make Lyme ... new research published in an upcoming issue of the ... . The findings show that ticks that carry ... year, making the threat of Lyme disease year-round. The ... Public Health (CDPH) Vector-borne Disease Section and University of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Information Update - Allergens and food safety at school - What's in your child's lunch? 2Information Update - Allergens and food safety at school - What's in your child's lunch? 3Lyme disease risk is year-round in Northwest California, according to new study 2Lyme disease risk is year-round in Northwest California, according to new study 3
(Date:8/21/2014)... A Finnish-Swedish research group at the Institute for ... Karolinska institutet, Stockholm, has developed a novel "man ... infection. This innovative diagnostic aid was described in ... August. The method is based on computer vision ... systems combined with visualization of only the diagnostically ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... Aug. 21, 2014 Telomere Biosciences, LLC ... Nutraceutical "TELO-20 for Dogs" with Telomerase Activation ... in the world for dogs. Telomeres are the ... in the body. A wealth of ground-breaking research ... Telomere Science and Aging, including Nobel laureates, has ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... 2014  China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... release financial results for the first quarter of fiscal ... close in the US.  The Company ... on Friday, August 29, 2014 to discuss its financial ... recent developments, followed by a question and answer session.  ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... SoundConnect , a unified ... one of the nation’s Fastest Growing Private Companies ... 2nd consecutive year. Inc. magazine today ranked SoundConnect ... an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private ... at the most important segment of the economy—America’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology:A novel 'man and machine' decision support system makes malaria diagnostics more effective 2Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-20 for Dogs, the World's First Telomere-Lengthening Supplement for Dogs, to Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity 2Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-20 for Dogs, the World's First Telomere-Lengthening Supplement for Dogs, to Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity 3China Cord Blood Corporation to Report First Quarter of Fiscal 2015 Financial Results 2SoundConnect Returns on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies 2SoundConnect Returns on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies 3
Cached News: