2004 Annual Science Report

Marine Biological Laboratory Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Evolution of Proteins

Project Summary
4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

To gain insight on the process of speciation of bacteria from earlier ancestors, we have prepared groups of paralogous proteins from different bacterial species and have compared them. Paralogous groups of genes are sets of genes that are related by sequence and seem likely to have descended from a common ancestor. We found that closely related bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium have paralogous groups that are almost identical. More distant species such as Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have related paralogous groups with pronounced differences. We are analyzing the differences between the species in terms of the functions of the genes that are present in one and not the other species. We are able to see in some cases how genes present in one are genes that are appropriate to the environment of that bacterium. Thus we can see how duplication and divergence from the same original ancestral gene took slightly different paths to create bacterial species with different properties, suited to living in different environments.

    Monica Riley Monica Riley
    Sulip Goswami
    Research Staff

    Objective 3.2
    Origins and evolution of functional biomolecules

    Objective 3.4
    Origins of cellularity and protobiological systems

    Objective 5.1
    Environment-dependent, molecular evolution in microorganisms