WHAT’S NEW .. Animal that does not require oxygen to survive; evolution going in "strange directions"

NEWS ANIMAL OXYGEN DISCOVERY

JERUSALEM: Scientists have discovered an animal that does not need oxygen to produce energy needed for its survival, a finding that changes one of science’s assumptions about the animal world. The tiny, less than 10-celled parasite Henneguya salminicola lives salminicola lives in salmon muscle, according to the finding published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PANS) of the United States.

As it evolved, the animal, which is a relative of jellyfish and corals, gave up breathing and consuming oxygen — or became anaerobic — to produce energy. “Aerobic respiration was thought to be ubiquitous in animals, but now we confirmed that this is not the case,” said Dorothee Huchon, a professor at Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel.

“Our discovery shows that evolution can go in strange directions. Aerobic respiration is a major source of energy, and yet we found an animal that gave up this critical pathway,” Huchon said. Some other organisms like fungi, amoebas or ciliate lineages in anaerobic environments have lost the ability to breathe over time, the researchers said.

The new study demonstrates that the same can happen to an animal — possibly because the parasite happens to live in an anaerobic environment, they said. The researchers noted that the parasite’s anaerobic nature was an accidental discovery. While assembling the Henneguya genome, Huchon found that it did not include a mitochondrial genome.

The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell where oxygen is captured to make energy, so its absence indicated that the animal was not breathing oxygen was based, among other things, on the fact that animals are multicellular, highly developed organisms, which first appeared on the Earth when oxygen levels rose, they said. 

“It’s not yet clear to us how the parasite generates energy,” Huchon said. 

“It may be drawing it from the surrounding fish cells, or it may have a different type of respiration such as oxygen-free breathing, which typically characterises anaerobic non-animal organisms,” she said. –AGENCIES, IHN-NN

INDIA HERE AND NOW www.indiahereandnow.comemail:indianow999@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s