Teaching old dogs new tricks: Biological adaptaion and exaptation | Origin of Life: Emergence, Self-organization and Evolution | Scoop.it

Adaptation and exaptation are two fundamental mechanisms for evolutionary success which play a pivotal role as much as innovation. Baliga and coworkers describe Halobacterium salinarum adaptation to new environments by reprogramming general transcription factors TFBs. Researchers have investigated the “implications of TFB expansions by correlating sequence variations, regulation, and physical interactions of all seven TFBs in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 to their fitness landscapes, functional hierarchies, and genetic interactions across 2488 experiments covering combinatorial variations in salt, pH, temperature, and Cu stress”. This study reveals how archea can generate completely novel fitness landscapes “by gene conversion events that introduce subtle changes to the regulation or physical interactions of duplicated TFBs.”



Serdar Turkarslan, David J Reiss, Goodwin Gibbins, Wan Lin Su, Min Pan, J Christopher Bare, Christopher L Plaisier & Nitin S Baliga. Niche adaptation by expansion and reprogramming of general transcription factors. Molecular Systems Biology 7 Article number: 554