Whether it’s plant, animal or other, most species have developed a system of using males and females to create genetic diversity. But for bdelloid rotifers, since they’re all female, they create diversity by stealing DNA from other critters.
A study by the University of Cambridge shows that about 10% of the expressed genes in the bdelloid rotifers are from other species. The species it has stolen from include fungi, plants, and bacteria. The introduction of foreign genes is what has allowed the bdelloids to survive for so long without sexual reproduction. Scientists believe reproduction in the usual manner introduces key variations into the genetic code of an animal that lead to mutations, and allows that animal to adapt over time.
Apart from allowing the bdelloids to survive as an all-female class for so long, these stolen genes have made the bdelloids crazy resilient. They live in water, but said water is generally inhospitable to life. Bdelloids can be found in places like tanks at sewage treatment plants and brackish water. They also live in places that sometimes spontaneously dry up. That’s bad news for most aquatic life, but the bdelloids can survive desiccation, or being totally dried out, for a record of nine years.
The bdelloid rotifers are to microscopic life as Rogue is to the X-Men. They basically sap all the best powers from others and use them for their own benefit. The scientists at Cambridge have identified genes in the bdelloid from over 500 species.
The author of the study, Alan Tunnacliffe says, “Every time you investigate these animals… they come out with something weird. It’s like they’re here to keep us entertained and surprised.” An all-female class of animal that can steal DNA and survive nine years of being completely desiccated? Consider us thoroughly entertained and surprised.
- shadowlil reblogged this from varrka
- shadowlil likes this
- pirate-autobot reblogged this from varrka
- varrka reblogged this from thatsnotlipstick
- crimsonwolves reblogged this from iheartchaos and added:
- hiemily77 likes this
- dearest-alice likes this
- aradiadream likes this
- grumpimus-prime reblogged this from iheartchaos
- tabbran reblogged this from iheartchaos and added:
- thatsnotlipstick reblogged this from iheartchaos
- thatsnotlipstick likes this
- veritablefacets reblogged this from iheartchaos
- sekari2 likes this
- rotiferola reblogged this from iheartchaos
- megaforge reblogged this from iheartchaos
- nativechef likes this
- fuguguru likes this
- fuguguru reblogged this from iheartchaos
- serpentking456 reblogged this from iheartchaos
- serpentking456 likes this
- phydeux reblogged this from iheartchaos and added:
- whatqsees reblogged this from iheartchaos and added:
- whatqsees likes this
- anosognosia likes this
- longtricksflykicks reblogged this from iheartchaos
- longtricksflykicks likes this
- iwasslicingupanavocado likes this
- crocophant reblogged this from iheartchaos
- crocophant likes this
- ivegivenuphidingmy reblogged this from iheartchaos
- monasticmaestoso likes this
- iheartchaos posted this