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Author Topic:   Portugese Water Dogs & Regulatory Genes
Chara
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 8 (25823)
12-07-2002 1:11 PM


Good morning

Was just sipping my coffee and watching The Discovery Channel. They had a short clip on Portugese Water Dogs being studied by a geneticist in Utah. After receiving information on the "geneaology" of these dogs, they found a bottleneck which has helped them to discover two (I think) regulatory genes which explain the rapid enormous changes in the breeds of dogs. They stated that this discovery could change the way "we" (not sure who we is ) look at evolution.

Now my question .... what implications (if any) does this have for evolution science?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-08-2002 1:36 AM Chara has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Chara, posted 12-08-2002 11:50 PM Chara has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Quetzal, posted 12-09-2002 4:34 AM Chara has not yet responded

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 8 (25913)
12-08-2002 1:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chara
12-07-2002 1:11 PM


bumping... out of curiosity. What say the experts? What's this about?

------------------
saved by grace


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Chara, posted 12-07-2002 1:11 PM Chara has not yet responded

  
Chara
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 8 (25997)
12-08-2002 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chara
12-07-2002 1:11 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Chara:
Good morning

Was just sipping my coffee and watching The Discovery Channel. They had a short clip on Portugese Water Dogs being studied by a geneticist in Utah. After receiving information on the "geneaology" of these dogs, they found a bottleneck which has helped them to discover two (I think) regulatory genes which explain the rapid enormous changes in the breeds of dogs. They stated that this discovery could change the way "we" (not sure who we is ) look at evolution.

Now my question .... what implications (if any) does this have for evolution science?


I am probably being impatient, but I am interested to know what changes this would make in the way that evolution is looked at. Having only a rudimentary understanding of the evolutionary process, I confess I do not know what the implications are. The show did not elaborate at all on this point. I know that there are quite a few people here who are knowledgable in this field ... would love to hear your opinions on this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Chara, posted 12-07-2002 1:11 PM Chara has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Mammuthus, posted 12-09-2002 3:07 AM Chara has not yet responded

  
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4585 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 4 of 8 (26007)
12-09-2002 3:07 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Chara
12-08-2002 11:50 PM


Hi Chara,
Is there a text version anywhere? Every time the video starts my RealPlayer crashes.

My impression is it was only a story about a breed of dogs that was generated from only a few breeding pairs of animals. They were carrying a recessive deleterious allele of some gene and now it is at a high frequency in the dog breed. This is a fairly common occurrence and is why geneticists study inbred populations to get a better handle on diseases. In humans to i.e. studies of the Amish or the Ashkenazhi jews.

Cheers,
M


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Chara, posted 12-08-2002 11:50 PM Chara has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3982 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 5 of 8 (26013)
12-09-2002 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chara
12-07-2002 1:11 PM


I have no clue what the Discovery special was on about. If they're referring to the well-known and well-documented fact that changes in regulatory genes can have a profound effect on phenotype (explaining dog breeds, for ex), I'm not sure what they mean by "changing the way we look at evolution". I did find an article that the special might have been based on: Genetic basis for systems of skeletal quantitative traits: Principal component analysis of the canid skeleton which showed that minor changes in regulatory genes (they studied the Portuguese water dog as an exemplar) can have significant effects on skeletal structure. From the abstract:
quote:
Evolution of mammalian skeletal structure can be rapid and the changes profound, as illustrated by the morphological diversity of the domestic dog. Here we use principal component analysis of skeletal variation in a population of Portuguese Water Dogs to reveal systems of traits defining skeletal structures. This analysis classifies phenotypic variation into independent components that can be used to dissect genetic networks regulating complex biological systems. We show that unlinked quantitative trait loci associated with these principal components individually promote both correlations within structures (e.g., within the skull or among the limb bones) and inverse correlations between structures (e.g., skull vs. limb bones). These quantitative trait loci are consistent with regulatory genes that inhibit growth of some bones while enhancing growth of others. These systems of traits could explain the skeletal differences between divergent breeds such as Greyhounds and Pit Bulls, and even some of the skeletal transformations that characterize the evolution of hominids.
However, all the article does is provide additional evidence for the "small changes can yield major effect" hypothesis. It also gives a nice quantitative way of measuring these changes. OTOH, I don't think it changes "the way we view evolution", except as noted.

What it does do is provide even more ammunition to destroy the creationist "macroevolution-doesn't-exist-because-it-requires-X (insert really big number) -mutations-and-there-isn't-enough-time-in-the-universe" argument.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Chara, posted 12-07-2002 1:11 PM Chara has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3982 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 6 of 8 (26182)
12-10-2002 9:12 AM


Bump

Chara: No comment?


Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Chara, posted 12-10-2002 11:02 AM Quetzal has responded

  
Chara
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 8 (26199)
12-10-2002 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Quetzal
12-10-2002 9:12 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Quetzal:
Bump

Chara: No comment?


Not really, I had seen the show ... wondered what they meant when they said that it would cause a different perspective on evolution and asked the question. Was there something I should have said? :-)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Quetzal, posted 12-10-2002 9:12 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Quetzal, posted 12-11-2002 1:44 AM Chara has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3982 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 8 of 8 (26264)
12-11-2002 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Chara
12-10-2002 11:02 AM


quote:
Not really, I had seen the show ... wondered what they meant when they said that it would cause a different perspective on evolution and asked the question. Was there something I should have said? :-)
Nope, nothing specific. Just wondered if I'd answered your question or if you wanted more information. The observation was something of a contentious issue when it was first proposed, but now seems to be coming into wider acceptance. The problem was that it seemed to violate the adage "natura non facit saltum" ("nature doesn't make jumps"), which was the counter to Goldschmitt, among others. With our increased understanding of how regulatory genes work and their influence on development, it appears that - at least in some cases - nature can make jumps...

[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 12-11-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Chara, posted 12-10-2002 11:02 AM Chara has not yet responded

  
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