Metabolism gives a boost to understanding plant and animal nutrient evolution

February 14, 2014

Animals and plants share a common ancestor about 2 billion years ago. While they still share some of their genes, a major part of their genomes evolved independently since then.

In the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, authors Maurino, et. al., explore the evolution of a family of enzymes, called 2-hydroxy acid oxidases, or 2-HAOX, that are involved in breaking down fatty acids in both plant and animals. They traced the evolution of 2-HAOX back to a common ancestor that once gave rise to these enzymes. They built a database of all known 2-HAOX sequences in plants, animals and bacteria and reconstructed phylogenetic trees; they also examined and compare the substrate specificities of different members of this family.

Their data supports the evolution of 2-HOAX from a common ancestral gene. Strikingly, the evolution of this protein family in animals mirrors that in plants, possibly because animals have to break down fatty acids ingested from plants. This provides an example of how the ancestors of plants and animals independently found identical solutions to similar evolutionary challenges.
-end-


Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)

Related Evolution Articles from Brightsurf:

Seeing evolution happening before your eyes
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg established an automated pipeline to create mutations in genomic enhancers that let them watch evolution unfold before their eyes.

A timeline on the evolution of reptiles
A statistical analysis of that vast database is helping scientists better understand the evolution of these cold-blooded vertebrates by contradicting a widely held theory that major transitions in evolution always happened in big, quick (geologically speaking) bursts, triggered by major environmental shifts.

Looking at evolution's genealogy from home
Evolution leaves its traces in particular in genomes. A team headed by Dr.

How boundaries become bridges in evolution
The mechanisms that make organisms locally fit and those responsible for change are distinct and occur sequentially in evolution.

Genome evolution goes digital
Dr. Alan Herbert from InsideOutBio describes ground-breaking research in a paper published online by Royal Society Open Science.

Paleontology: Experiments in evolution
A new find from Patagonia sheds light on the evolution of large predatory dinosaurs.

A window into evolution
The C4 cycle supercharges photosynthesis and evolved independently more than 62 times.

Is evolution predictable?
An international team of scientists working with Heliconius butterflies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama was faced with a mystery: how do pairs of unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica evolve nearly the same wing-color patterns over and over again?

Predicting evolution
A new method of 're-barcoding' DNA allows scientists to track rapid evolution in yeast.

Insect evolution: Insect evolution
Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that the incidence of midge and fly larvae in amber is far higher than previously thought.

Read More: Evolution News and Evolution Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.