Analysis of bread mold genomes demos ‘reverse-ecology’ tool

Analysis of bread mold genomes demos ‘reverse-ecology’ tool

In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Rachel Brem and other UC Berkeley biologists have shown that one can determine an organism’s adaptive traits by looking first at its genome and checking for variations across a population. A demonstration of “reverse-ecology,” the study offers a powerful new tool in evolutionary genetics research, one that could be used to help monitor the effects of climate change and habitat destruction. The researchers scanned the genes of 48 different strains of Neurospora crassa, a type of red bread mold commonly used in genetics research. It is considered a model microbe because different strains can be mated and grown very quickly, and its growth occurs in a light-sensitive daily cycle that has been useful for studying circadian rhythms. Read more »

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