Holy Jurassic Park!

meiosis by GreenFlames09
Yeast missing sex genes undergo unexpected sexual reproduction:
[Via Eureka! Science News – Popular science news]

An emerging form of the pathogenic yeast Candida is able to complete a full sexual cycle in a test tube, even though it’s missing the genes for reproduction. And it may also do so while infecting us, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.

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Life will find a way.

What is really intriguing about this is that the loss of many of the genes needed for meiosis in other organisms results in a yeast that can still do meiosis, just with a lot of errors. Up to one-third of the daughter cells are carrying extra genetic material.

Figuring this out should provide a lot of insight into how meiosis is controlled and by which genes. It is amazing though that Candida seems to have lost so many genes yet still survives quite well, posing a real health problem for humans. I wonder what, if any, the selective advantage is for such a genetic loss?

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