Genome of the pitcher plant Cephalotus reveals genetic changes associated with carnivory

An international scientific team involving researchers from the University of Barcelona has discovered the genetic changes that have made it possible for some plants to evolve towards carnivorous food.

The Dynamic Regulatory Genome of Capsaspora and the Origin of Animal Multicellularity

A study led by Iñaki Ruiz Trillo from Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) gives clues about how the unicellular ancestor of C. fragrantissima animals, a living relative that has a life cycle phase with many nuclei within the same cell. According to the researchers, this unicellular ancestor closest to the multicellular animals already had the capacity to create different types of cells.

Late acquisition of mitochondria by a host with chimaeric prokaryotic ancestry

Results of this study shed new light on a long-standing question and provide compelling support for the late acquisition of mitochondria into a host that already had a proteome of chimaeric phylogenetic origin. Researchers argue that mitochondrial endosymbiosis was one of the ultimate steps in eukaryogenesis and that it provided the definitive selective advantage to mitochondria-bearing eukaryotes over less complex forms.

One study analyzes the reproductive evolution of caecilian, the most unknown group of amphibians. The team, in which a researcher from the MNCN (National Museum of Natural Sciences) of the CSIC participates, has developed the most robust and complete phylogeny performed so far, which includes all families and almost all genres (27 of 32) of caecilian, order Gymnophiona. Scientists have analyzed 45 complete mitochondrial genomes, 19 of which were unknown.

Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease

An international consortium involving researchers Julio Rozas and Alejandro Sánchez Gracia of University of Barcelona has sequenced the nuclear genome of Ixodes scapularis. The study, published in Nature Communications, is the first to describe the genome of a chelicerata.