Genetic secrets of the white shark
The genome of the white shark has been decoded revealing a wealth of unusual genetic traits that may explain their evolutionary success. These sharks have several unique abilities – their organisms can at least prevent the concentration of DNA damage, so they rarely suffer from cancer.
The white shark is one of the most recognizable sea creatures on Earth. They attract the attention of mediow and is an object of widespread fascination. These large and powerful animals. They reach a size of up to six metersow and could weigh three tons. They can descend to depths of more than a kilometer. They are very fast, which makes them one of the most effective marine predatorsow.
These sharks have rown unusual but lesser-known traits. We learned the secrets thanks to scientists from Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Monterey Bay Aquarium and several other institutions, whoorym was able to learn about the entire genome of the white shark. It turns out that shark organismsow possess amazing survival capabilities. They can deal with wounds extremely quickly. They are long-lived and, most importantly, have a number of DNA adaptations that affect the stability of the genome, preventing the formation of unwanted mutations. Therefore, cancers are rare in these animals.
Sequencing the white shark genome was not an easy task. The genome of this shark consists of 4.63 billion base pairs forming DNA molecules and is poone and a half times the size of the human genome. Researchers porownali the genome of the white shark with those of several other vertebratesow, including whale shark and humans.
While researching the compositeoł discovered mnostwo specific changes in DNA sequence. These adaptations have been noted in numerous genes that play an important role in maintaining genome stability – such genetic mechanismow defenses, whichore counteracts the accumulation of DNA damage, thus preserving theob integrity of the genome.
Variations were found in genes closely related to DNA repair, DNA damage response and DNA damage tolerance among theod other genow. The opposite phenomenon – genome instability, whichora results from accumulated DNA damage, is well known to us. Predisposes humans to numerous cancersow and diseaseob age-related.
– We observed a surprisingly large number of geneow responsible for DNA stability, ktore contained not only these adaptive changes, but were also enhanced in several cases, supporting the effectiveness of this mechanism, said Mahmood Shivji, director of the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Center at Nova Southeastern University.
The researchers also noted that the white shark genome contains a very large number of transposonsoin also called „jumping genes”. The sequences can move to another position in the genome. In this case, scientists have pinpointed a specific type of transposon known as LINES.
– This often causes genome instability by creating breaks in the DNA, ktore in need of repair,” said Michael Stanhope of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, coopublication rover. – It is likely that this is what constitutes a strong evolutionary factor for efficient mechanismsoin DNA repair and is reflected in the presence of so many genesoin DNA stability – added.
– Decoding the white shark genome provides science with a new set of keys to unlocking the mysteries surrounding these feared predatorsow. Why sharks have been thriving for some 500 millionow years? That’s longer than almost any vertebrate in the world – highlighted Salvador Jorgensen of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, roAlso one of the author’soat work.
The researchers also found other intriguing evolutionary adaptations in genes linked to the wound healing process. – We have discovered several similarly amplified genesoin associated with someorymes with some of the most fundamental wound healing pathways, including a key blood-clotting gene, Stanhope said. – These adaptations involving healing processes may underlie the notorious ability of sharks toow to effectively treat even large wounds, he added.
– Genome instability is a major issue in many serious human diseases. It turns out that nature has developed clever strategies to keep the genome stableow in these large, long-lived creatures,” said Shivji. – We can still learn a lot from these miraclesoin evolution. Thanks to them, we can learn information ktore potentially useful against cancer and age-related diseases. It may also be possible to improve wound healing in humans – added.
Sourceobackground: Nova Southeastern University, photo. CC BY 2.0/ Hermanus Backpackers/ Wikimedia Commons