Armati - marsupials by Patricia J. Armati, Chris R. Dickman, Ian D. Hume

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By Patricia J. Armati, Chris R. Dickman, Ian D. Hume

The final 20 years have visible many intriguing discoveries resulting in major advancements in our realizing of marsupial biology. Marsupials are rising as version organisms in reports of existence heritage evolution, getting older and senescence, intercourse choice and the improvement and regeneration of the anxious process. This quantity offers a synthesis of modern advancements in marsupial biology, bringing jointly wisdom presently scattered througout the first literature.

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You need to be careful! Comparison of marsupial and eutherian homologues suggests how and when genes evolved – the birth of new genes by duplication of old ones. For instance, the PGK locus on the human X chromosome spawned autosomal copies in human and mouse which help tide the germ cells over spermatogenesis when the X is inactive; PGK also has an autosomal homologue in marsupials, implying that gene duplication was an ancient event (McCarrey 1994). The HPRT locus on the X also begat an autosomal copy expressed in liver in marsupials, but not in eutherians, so must have arisen more recently by retrotransposition in the marsupial lineage.

The raw material for cloning genes is called a DNA library. A library is a pool of mammalian DNA fragments, all recombined into a small, self-replicating genome such as a bacterium’s DNA. There are two main kinds of DNA library, depending on whether the starting material is total marsupial genomic DNA or ‘cDNA’, which is DNA sequences derived only from loci that are actively transcribing RNA. Whether it is genomic or cDNA, the library will certainly contain a staggering mixture of recombinants, and the daunting task is to separate them out and identify the ones containing a particular target marsupial sequence.

These properties make the mitochondrial DNA incredibly useful for tracing patterns of evolution, as we will see later. loci are on the chromosomes, the more likely there is to be a recombination event between them. This knowledge can be used to help us map the relative positions of the loci. 4 and Fig. 8). The mitochondrial genome has two properties that make it incredibly useful for tracing evolution: it cannot recombine, and it is passed on through the maternal lineage – the opposite of the Y.

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