A landmark effort to sequence the genome of a South American butterfly has revealed the key behind its ability to mimic other butterflies.A first for science, the genome sequencing work is the product of an international group of researchers, dubbed the Heliconius Genome Consortium, who examined the genome of the Postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene), a well-known species that lives in the Peruvian Amazon. Using that data as a guide, they then examined the genetic makeup of two other closely related butterfly species – Heliconius timareta and Heliconius elevatus.The three species were selected for the study because they share similar color patterns on their wings as a way to ward off predators.The consortium’s surprising finding, as described in a paper published May 16 in Nature, is that the species look similar because they share the parts of their DNA that deal with color patterns.“Heliconius butterflies exhibit an extraordinary amount of color-pattern mimicry between the species, and with species in other groups,” said Jim Mallet, distinguished lecturer on organismic and evolutionary biology and associate of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. “We have found that species share the parts of the genome that code for color pattern loci, with a major impact on the survival of these butterflies in the wild.”The genetic sharing among species, researchers believe, is the result of hybridization. Considered extremely rare, particularly in animals, hybridization occurs when two different species interbreed in the wild.The resulting hybrid offspring share traits with both mother and father. Though often considered evolutionary dead-ends, hybrids occasionally interbreed with a parent species, in the process introducing new genes that can help populations adapt to new or changing environments.“What we show is that one butterfly species can gain its protective color pattern genes ready-made from a different species by hybridizing [or interbreeding] with it — a much faster process than having to evolve one’s color patterns from scratch,” said Kanchon Dasmahapatra, a postdoctoral researcher at the University College London’s Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, and a co-author of the paper.“This project really changes how we think about adaptation in general,” said Marcus Kronforst, a Bauer Fellow at Harvard, who participated in the sequencing. “Evolutionary biologists often wonder whether different species use the same genes to generate similar traits, like the mimetic wing patterns of Heliconius butterflies. This study shows us that sometimes different species not only use the same genes, but the exact same stretches of DNA, which they pass around by hybridization.”A total of 80 researchers in 32 research universities and institutions from eight countries worked on the genome project, while a subset of nine laboratories funded the sequencing of the 290 million DNA bases using high-throughput technologies, allowing the work to proceed without major dedicated grant funding.Sequencing work for the consortium was carried out at the Baylor College of Medicine, which performed the main reference sequence, and at the University of Edinburgh, GenePool, where the resequencing was performed.
MASON CITY — Both of NIACC’s cross country teams remain ranked in this week’s Division I polls. The Lady Trojans are ranked 14th after placing fourth in their own Trent Smith Invitational last Friday. Iowa Central is ranked first in the women’s poll followed by Southern Idaho. Iowa Western out of the conference is ranked 10th. The NIACC men are ranked 17th in this week’s poll after placing fifth in the Trent Smith Invitational last week. Cloud County Community College of Kansas is ranked first, with three other conference members being ranked in the top 25 — Iowa Central third, Iowa Western sixth and Hawkeye Community College 22nd. Both NIACC teams are off until the Region XI meet in Ottumwa on October 25th. AMES — Iowa State’s emerging ground game has given the Cyclone offense more confidence heading into this week’s game at Texas Tech. ISU has averaged 166 yards on the ground the past two weeks and senior receiver La’Michael Pettway believes it will lead to more big plays.Freshman running back Breece Hall burst onto the scene with 132 yards on the ground in a win at West Virginia.Sophomore receiver Tarique Milton says the emergence of Hall gives the Cyclones an added dimension.Kickoff in Lubbock is scheduled for 11 o’clock on Saturday AMES — A new look Iowa State basketball team will be out to make another post-season run. The Cyclones lost nearly half the roster off of last year’s team that won the Big 12 tournament title and coach Steve Prohm has been searching for the right combinations.Michael Jacobson returns along the front line and sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton was named to pre-season All Big 12 first team.Prohm says Haliburton will be counted on to log a lot of minutes.A key addition will be Penn State transfer Rasir Bolton at guard.A tough Big 12 race will be part of what Prohm calls a demanding schedule.The Cyclones open at home on November fifth against Mississippi Valley State. IOWA CITY — The Iowa Hawkeyes will be out to snap a two game losing streak this week when they host Purdue. Freshman receiver Nico Ragaini says the Hawkeyes are focused on what still can be accomplished.Quarterback Nate Stanley says they have gone back to work in hopes of fixing an offense that has scored only one touchdown in two games.Iowa safety Geno Stone says there has not been a loss of confidence.Kickoff at Kinnick Stadium is scheduled for 11 o’clock, with the pre-game starting at 9 o’clock on AM-1300 KGLO IOWA FALLS — Kennedy Meister earned her 1000th career dig on Wednesday night as the NIACC volleyball team swept Ellsworth three sets to nothing — 25-11, 25-14 and 25-12. NIACC is 6-1 in conference play and 24-8 overall. The Lady Trojans remain in a three-way tie atop the conference standings with Iowa Central and Northeast Community College, with Iowa Central beating Southeastern and Northeast sweeping Southwestern last night. NIACC travels to the Iowa Lakes tournament with two matches each on Friday and Saturday.
London: Michael Schumacher’s wife is hiding about Formula One legend’s condition, claims his former manager Willi Weber.Schumacher, who gained seven FIA Formula One Drivers’ World Championships and 91 race victories, suffered a skiing accident on December 29, 2013 which resulted in a brain injury that has caused him to be bedridden and unable to speak for the past five years. Speaking in a German documentary ‘The Michael Schumacher Tale’, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Schumacher’s first World Championship in 1994, Weber has claimed that he has made numerous requests to see Schumacher — only for them to be refused by wife Corinna, reports mirror.co.uk.I know that Michael has been hit hard, but unfortunately I do not know what progress he makes,” Weber said.”I’d like to know how he’s doing and shake hands or stroke his face,” he added.Weber also stated that Corinna fears the truth about Schumacher’s condition entering the public domain. “But unfortunately, this is rejected by Corinna. She’s probably afraid that I’ll see right away what’s going on and make the truth public.”In August 1995, Michael married Corinna and the couple has two kids. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. comaF1ferrariformula one First Published: November 13, 2019, 1:57 PM IST