Bacteria linked global network of genetic

Diagram showing the possible ways to exchange genes between bacteria: using viruses, extrachromosomal plasmid DNA, or simply through the DNA from dead cells (Figure Bryson Biomedical Illustrations).

Scientists have found 10,000 genes that bacteria communicate with each other regardless of the degree of kinship.
Just as people share information through electronic means, the bacteria also are sharing useful genes. It is not at all hereditary ("tall") transfer of information in bacteria, as in humans, it can transmit some unrelated individuals. This phenomenon is called horizontal gene transfer, it is believed, is not only bacteria, but that they have reached a truly unprecedented scale.

In an article published in the journal Nature, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) reported that they were able to identify 10,000 genes, wandering between 2235 genomes. This figure is the order puzzled researchers: about gene transfer is more or less known, but no one thought that he had acquired in bacteria such proportions. It really can be compared with a worldwide network, within which constantly circulates important genetic information. In this case, the genes shared quite distant from each other groups of bacteria, some of them, according to the researchers, differ from each other as yeast from the man. This suggests that gene transfer was realized recently did: the genes belonging to a different group of bacteria, do not have time to mutate, that is to buy different.

It is due to the global genetic network bacteria and have an amazing ability to take super-fast resistance to antibiotics. The researchers found that the bacteria somehow related to man, 60% of the information exchanged has the genes that determine resistance to certain antibiotics. It is not only the micro-organisms that tend to the man himself, but also of those that accompany the livestock and agriculture in general. There were 42 cases of gene transfer between human and cow bacteria, and almost a billion years of evolution, which separates the two groups is not an obstacle for such an exchange of information.

In addition, in 43 cases observed gene transfer between bacteria of different nationalities: obviously, the bacteria have been living in the "global world". The decisive factor for the exchange of genetic information is the similarity of the ecological niche: if two different bacteria live in the midgut, they are happy to share their genes, even though in one case the human gut, and in another — cows. In addition, the exchange of genes between species occurs easily, having about equal pathogenicity or need for oxygen. All this forms roughly the same environmental conditions — and thus, their inhabitants have much to say to each other. Where people live with the host, Russia or Australia, it does not matter.

If the gene has been useful in the household, that is indeed the new owner gave it to some antibiotic resistance, it is fixed in this species of bacteria and is transmitted is from generation to generation. Given all this, you can imagine how coordinated measures must be taken to prevent epidemics and even against the spread of pathogens. In the future, the scientists intend to get more information about the World Genetic Network bacteria. For example, can communicate bacteria living in different parts of the body or cause different diseases.

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