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One more link between peas and carrots!

Saturday 1 May, 2010

A pea and a carrotRemember the carotenoids? These antioxidants that also let golden staphylococci resist phagocytosis (1)?

A recent study in Science Magazine (2) demonstrates, for the first time, the ability of animals (insects: the pea aphids that infect peas and other plants) to synthesize carotenoids.

Well, they didn’t exactly inherit it vertically from their ancestors, but rather got the genes as a kind gift from some fungus, long long time ago.

I will let you read the study, and uncover the new convoluted link between peas and carrots: Carrots make–> carotenoids also synthesized by–> fungi horizontally transferred to–> pea aphidsinfect–> peas (it’s still below six degrees of separation)!

Peas and carrotsPea aphids

Cited articles:

(1) Liu, G., & Nizet, V. (2009). Color me bad: microbial pigments as virulence factors Trends in Microbiology, 17 (9), 406-413 DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2009.06.006

(2) Moran, N., & Jarvik, T. (2010). Lateral Transfer of Genes from Fungi Underlies Carotenoid Production in Aphids Science, 328 (5978), 624-627 DOI: 10.1126/science.1187113


Welcome to the microbial world…

Monday 26 February, 2007

Welcome to “Learning Microbiology and Immunology,” a pilot weblog for all learners in the fields of Microbiology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Microbial Genetics, Microbial Genomics, and more.
The weblog primarily concerns the students of Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University (Cairo- EGYPT)

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