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Origins 2011 – Abstracts

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O8a: Contributed Orals – Evolutionary Perspectives biodiversity/extraterrestrial intelligence
Time: Friday, 08/Jul/2011: 9:15am - 10:00am
Session Chair: Simon Conway Morris
Location: Auditorium Pasteur


Evolution of metabolism: insights from bacterial endosymbionts of insects

Juli Pereto1,2, Rafael Patiño-Navarrete1, Araceli Lamelas1,5, M. Jose Lopez-Sanchez1, M. Jose Gosalbes5, Carmen Gonzalez-Domenech1,4, Alexander Neef1, Andres Moya1,3,5, Amparo Latorre1,3,5

1Inst. Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de Valencia; 2Dept. Bioquimica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat de Valencia; 3Dept. Genetica, Universitat de Valencia; 4Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada; 5CSISP, Valencia, SPAIN

Symbiosis is a widespread phenomenon in the biosphere. The study of the permanent association of different species of bacteria and insects, involving the integration of their metabolic networks, illuminates several modes of very recent metabolic evolution. The examples discussed include genomic and systems biology approaches performed in our lab, such as mosaic evolution of pathways, metabolic complementation between prokaryotic and eukaryotic enzymes, and the minimization of metabolic networks.

"The modern RNA world": Evolution of regulatory non coding RNAs and their contribution to the emergence of living complexity

Irma Lozada-Chávez, Sonja J. Prohaska, Peter F. Stadler

Interdisciplinary Center for Bioinformatics and Department of Computer Science, University of Leipzig, D-04107 Leipzig, Germany

We show that known and novel regulatory small RNAs are a fundamental component of non-protein-coding regions of the eukaryotic genotypes and also probably the main moderators of complex phenotypes on Earth. We show that small RNAs have evolved via differential duplication and transposition events which assure their pervasive transcription and regulation through specific genomic mechanisms. We clarify the evolutionary differences between non coding RNA-based and protein-based regulatory systems.

Molecular evolution before LUCA and the rooted Net of Life

J. Peter Gogarten1, Gregory P. Fournier2, Cheryl P. Andam1

1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3125, USA; 2Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA 02139, USA

Reconstructing the amino acid composition of ancestral sequences allows rooting the ribosomal phylogeny and provides information on which amino acids were late additions to the genetic code. Sequence reconstruction for enzymes that diverged before the organismal LUCA confirms suggests that for some amino acids other tRNA charging mechanisms may have preceded the currently known aminoacyl tRNA synthetases.