Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















EARLY EARTH
Land plant became key marine species
by Staff Writers
Gothenburg, Sweden (SPX) Feb 02, 2016


Eelgrass belongs to a group of flowering plants that have adapted to a life in water. As such, it is a suitable candidate for studies of adaptation and evolution. Image courtesy Frithjof Moy. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The genome of eelgrass (Zostera marina) has now been unveiled. It turns out that the plant, once land-living but now only found in the marine environment, has lost the genes required to survive out of the water. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg participated in the research study, the results of which are published in the scientific journal Nature.

Eelgrass belongs to a group of flowering plants that have adapted to a life in water. As such, it is a suitable candidate for studies of adaptation and evolution.

'Since flowering plants have emerged and developed on land, eelgrass can be expected to share many genetic features with many land plants. Studying differences between them can tell us how eelgrass has adapted to a marine environment,' says Mats Topel, researcher at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, who participated in the sequencing of the eelgrass genome.

Topel is part of an international research collaboration involving 35 research teams. As a result of their efforts, the eelgrass genome has now been published in Nature.

A life on land no longer possible
One interesting discovery made by the scientists is that eelgrass has lost not only the special cells that flowering plants need to be able to 'breathe' (meaning to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen) but also the genes required to form these cells.

'This is a good example of how evolution extends beyond mere accumulation of useful traits; organisms can also benefit from losing certain genes and characteristics,' says Topel.

Eelgrass - a key species in trouble
Eelgrass belongs to a group of plants generally referred to as seagrass and forms gigantic submarine meadows along European, North American and Asian shores. The plant has adapted to many different environments, from the bitter Arctic cold to the warm waters further south.

In all of these environments, eelgrass serves an important function in the ecosystem by binding sediments and acting as a nursery for young fish and other animals. It also influences our own environment by binding large amounts of nutrients and carbon dioxide.

'Lately, the eelgrass meadows have disappeared in many places, and a lot of research is underway to figure out how these ecosystems work and what we can do to protect them,' says Topel.

The genome of an organism contains huge amounts of information.

'So far we have only scratched the surface. A vast number of bioinformatic analyses of eelgrass remain to be done. And the increasing availability of genomes of other organisms enables us to make new comparisons,' says Topel.

The research on the eelgrass genome has been led by Professor Jeanine Olsen from the University of Groningen. During parts of the work, Professor Olsen has served as visiting professor at the University of Gothenburg and has then been affiliated with the Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology

.


Related Links
University of Gothenburg
Explore The Early Earth at TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EARLY EARTH
Moon was produced by a head-on collision between Earth and a forming planet
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 29, 2016
The moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a "planetary embryo" called Theia approximately 100 million years after the Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report. Scientists had already known about this high-speed crash, which occurred almost 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought the Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh) at an angle ... read more


EARLY EARTH
Russia postpones manned Lunar mission to 2035

Audi joins Google Lunar XPrize competition

Lunar mission moves a step closer

Momentum builds for creation of 'moon villages'

EARLY EARTH
Mars Rover Opportunity Busy Through Depth of Winter

India to Cooperate With France on Next Mission to Mars

Opportunity rock abrasion tool conducts two rock grinds

Curiosity gets a good taste of scooped, sieved sand

EARLY EARTH
Voyager Mission Celebrates 30 Years Since Uranus

Arab nations eye China, domestic market to revive tourism

2016 Goals Vital to Commercial Crew Success

Space: The here-and-now frontier

EARLY EARTH
China aims for the Moon with new rockets

China shoots for first landing on far side of the moon

Chinese Long March 3B to launch Belintersat-1 telco sat for Belarus

China Plans More Than 20 Space Launches in 2016

EARLY EARTH
Russian Cosmonauts to Attach Thermal Insulation to ISS

Astronaut Scott Kelly plays ping pong with water

Japanese astronaut learned Russian to link two nations

NASA, Texas Instruments Launch mISSion imaginaTIon

EARLY EARTH
70th consecutive successful launch for Ariane 5

AMOS-6 Scheduled for May 2016 Launch by Space-X

Arianespace's year-opening Ariane 5 mission is approved for launch

Ariane 5 is readied for an Arianespace leading customer Intelsat

EARLY EARTH
Astronomers discover largest solar system

Lonely Planet Finds a Mum a Trillion Km Away

Follow A Live Planet Hunt

Lab discovery gives glimpse of conditions found on other planets

EARLY EARTH
Energy harvesting via smart materials

A new quantum approach to big data

Apple quietly working on virtual reality: report

Acoustic tweezers provide much needed pluck for 3-D bioprinting




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.