Skip to comments.An aquarium accident may have given this crayfish the DNA to take over the world
Posted on 02/05/2018 2:08:22 PM PST by BenLurkin
The marbled crayfish is the only crustacean that reproduces asexually, with the all-female species making clones of itself from eggs unfertilized by sperm...
Since its discovery in 1995 in Germany, the marbled crayfish has spread across Europe and into Africa in huge numbers. They eat anythingrotten leaves, snails or fish broods, small fish, small insects," says Frank Lyko, a molecular geneticist at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. This crayfish is a serious pest,
Lyko and his colleagues sequenced genomes of about a dozen marbled crayfish from different parts of the world and performed less detailed genetic analyses of two dozen more from across Madagascar. At 3.5 billion DNA bases in length, the crustaceans genome is bigger than the human genome, but contains about the same number of genes, 21,000, they report today in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
As suggested by some preliminary evidence, the marbled crayfish has three sets of 92 chromosomes, not the usual two, and each set is essentially a version of the chromosomes belonging to the slough crayfish (P. fallax). Two of the three sets of chromosomes are virtually identical, but the third is different enough that Lykos team concludes the marbled crayfish likely arose from the mating of two slough crayfish from different regions of the world thrown together in an aquarium. One must have had an abnormal egg or sperm that retained two copies of its chromosomes instead of the usual single set that is in such germ cells, Lyko explains. The bringing together of the two distant slough crayfish enhanced the genetic variation within the new clonal species. Such a union would never happen in the wild, he asserts.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencemag.org ...
I think I saw this movie. It didn’t show Kurt Russel dying in the end . . . . but it didn’t look good.
Me oh my!
Write a grant and get all the money you need. Seems like a lot of money could have spent on some more important things.
Yep,whose got the water boiling?
First a mouse, now a crayfish.
My thought exactly. Teach those euroweenies how to make a good boil.
If it ever makes it to Louisiana, it’s toast!.............
We love to have shrimp boils.
I think it’s time to send in the Cajun Navy again.
me oh my!
Yeah, there’s some Cajuns I know that welcome this development.
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