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One species, two hemispheres

Protozoan populations isolated in the North and South poles belong to the same species

Megan Scudellari
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated direct evidence of two polar populations of a microorganism -- one in the Arctic and the other in the Antarctic -- successfully mating and sharing the same gene pool, researchers linkurl:report this week;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1019432108 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Euplotes
Ronald Corner, linkurl:www.michigan.gov;http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3683_3720-58397--,00.html
The unique species likely overcomes its geographic divide by traveling along deep ocean currents, the authors report.linkurl:Pierangelo Luporini;http://ricerca.unicam.it/Show/Departments.aspx?Action=Data&IdUniversity=4&IdDepartment=2&IdLanguage=2 and colleagues at the University of Camerino in Italy analyzed strains of Euplotes nobilii -- a protozoan ciliate aptly named from a Greek term meaning "good swimmer" or "good sailor" -- and observed 3 strains from the Arctic and 3 from the Antarctic that successfully mated through conjugation, the direct exchange of genes, and produced viable offspring. The strains also shared structurally similar pheromones -- signaling hormones vital for cell-to-cell recognition and mating -- identified by NMR spectroscopy in...
The Scientist. Di Giuseppe, G. et al., "Antarctic and Arctic populations of the ciliate Euplotes nobilii show common pheromone-mediated cell-cell signaling and cross-mating," PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1019432108.



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