Saturday, 21 January 2017

The red panda and huge genomes of a panda show the meeting evolution

Even while bats and birds haven't developed from the general ancestor, both of them have wings. This phenomenon called the meeting evolution sees versions in the similar ecological niches developing similar adaptation — not because they are closely connected, but because they face the same evolutionary problems.

Huge pandas and red pandas - a striking example of it. They differed with huge pandas in Ursidae family along with other bears and red pandas as the lonely living family representatives of Ailuridae, more closely connected with polecats about 43 million years ago (you look at huge pandas and red pandas on this zoomable a life tree). But both species of a panda are unique among predators in it, they - is exclusive herbivores.

That choice of a way of life, apparently, left similar marks in their genomes as the team of researchers has found when they have ordered a red genome of a panda.

Both huge and red pandas have adapted to extremely specialized diet from a bamboo that means important adaptation to their gastrointestinal tracts. A bamboo - rigid, fibrous food which is difficult to the review. Pandas, with their gastrointestinal tracts inherited from predators had to undergo some essential changes to absorb the poor food available in their chosen food. Pandas also divide strange and fascinating adaptation to paws: both of them have "pseudo-thumb" with a bone which leans out about a paw and facilitates to keep on a bamboo stick.

Researchers were interested in whether they could find common features in two genomes which could shed light on how these common features have developed. To make it, they have ordered a red genome of a panda which begins to seem to lungs these days, but is still labor-consuming task. As the ordering methods have continued to improve, they have also put a little cleaning of already ordered panda genome in order to make sure that both had comparable quality.

Then they have compared these two genomes to the published genomes from six other versions: polar bear, polecat, dog, tiger, person and mouse. It has allowed them to look for unexpected common features in panda genomes which could be thought-provoking about the meeting evolution. They have defined 70 genes which, appear, were probable criminals.

Drilling in specific features of these 70 genes has lifted some interesting results. For example, two of the genes called by DYNC2H1 and PCNT, as we know, are involved in development of an extremity. When something goes not as it is necessary with them at mice or people, result - the wrong skeletal growth. It seems probable, authors write that these genes "promote development of a pseudo-thumb in both pandas".

Various other genes will probably help with the list to boiling down of pandas. Some genes, as we know, are involved in protein boiling down while others help with absorption of A and B12 vitamins which are in low delivery in a bamboo. And in both versions, the receptor gene of taste of a yumama of TAS1R1 was "pseudogenized" — it can't produce functional protein any more. "Yumami - the critical flavoring feeling for the animals eating meat", is written by authors, and loss of the function "can be the evolutionary response to dietary change from carnivory and pantophagy to herbivory".

It is quite easy to see the meeting evolution at the level of noticeable features. We knew the whole eternity that bats and dolphins and use echolocation, and we were able to observe how various versions made attacks on the same evolutionary solutions of things as concrete diets or threats. But though it is widely observed phenomenon, it - still something that we just begin to see at the level of a genome.

It is a fascinating gleam under a cowl of the meeting evolution, but there is still much more research which will be made to confirm that changes in these genes actually influence ability of pandas to function as the vegetarian.

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