Invented a single gene ‘hemoglobin’ several times


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Platinum Dumerali vascular system in three volumes. Sincerely: Song et al ./BMC Evolutionary Biology

Thanks to the marine worm Platinumis doomarilli, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists at the University of St. Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, along with others from the CNRS, Université de Paris and Sorbonne Université, have shown that while hemoglobin has Appears freely in the species, it actually descends from one gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor. These findings were published on 29 December 2020 BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Having red blood is not strange for humans or mammals. This color comes from hemoglobin, a complex protein that is specialized in the transport of oxygen found in the circulatory system of vertebrates, but also in annelids (a worm family whose most well-known members are earthworms), molluscs (especially Pond snails) and crustaceans (such as daphnia) or ‘water fleas’). It was thought that hemoglobin had appeared in such diverse species, it would have been ‘invented’ several times during evolution. But recent research has shown that all these hemoglobins born ‘independently’ actually originate from the same ancestral gene.

Institutes Jacques Monod (CNRS / Université de Paris), The Lubecotter Matière et Systèmes Complexes (CNRS / Université de Paris), Station Biological de Roscoff (CNRS / Sorbonne Université), St. Petersburg (Russia) and University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) , Performed this research on Platenaris dumerilli, a small sea worm with red blood.

It is considered an animal that develops slowly, because its genetic characteristics are close to that of the marine ancestor of most animals, the Urabilitaria. Studying these worms by comparing them with other species with red blood has helped to trace the origin of haemoglobin.

The research focused on a wider family, which contains hemoglobins: globins, proteins present in almost all living beings that ‘store’ gases such as oxygen and nitric oxide. But globins usually work inside cells because they do not spread like hemoglobin in the blood.

This work demonstrates that in all red-blooded species, it is the same gene that forms a globin called ‘cytoglobin’ that independently becomes a hemoglobin-encoding gene. This newly circulated molecule made oxygen transport more efficient in its ancestors, which became larger and more active.

Scientists now want to change the scale and continue this work to study when and how different specific cells emerged in the bilaterian vascular system.


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more information:
Solane Song et al., Globins platinaireis doomerilli in marine annuities shed new light on the development of hemoglobin in the bipedal, BMC Evolutionary Biology (2020). DOI: 10.1186 / s12862-020-01714-4

Provided by Song et al. / BMC Evolutionary Biology

Quotes: A single gene ‘invented’ hemoglobin multiple times (2020, 29 December) from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-gene-hemoglobin.html on 30 December 2020

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