What’s in News:
- The results of a study to understand the pace of evolution, titled — “direct observation of adaptive tracking on ecological timescales — in Drosophila” was published in the journal Science.
- Taking fruit flies ( Drosophila melanogaster) as the sample, scientists began a large-scale controlled field experiment
- The study has vastly changed the understanding of evolution and questioned the old notion of evolution being a slow process occurring over a longer period of time. The change is actually happening faster than scientists thought and that not all evolution happens due to habitat destruction, invasion or pollution.
- The study establishes that evolutionary changes happen quickly and researchers can track these in real time — within a single seasonal turn in a year.
- Researchers measured phenotypic and genomic evolution in response to natural seasonal change.
- In response to environmental changes, the direction of phenotypic and genetic alterations altered throughout time.
- This research underlines the significance of gathering data with a high temporal resolution in order to observe the impacts of fluctuating selection.
- A phenotype is a set of traits or characteristics that may be seen in an organism, such as height, eye colour, or blood type. The genotype is the genetic contribution to the phenotype(The genotype is the genetic material that is passed down across generations.) The whole hereditary information of an organism is called a “genotype.” The observable qualities of an organism, such as morphology, development, or behaviour, are referred to as “phenotype.” This distinction is critical in the study of trait inheritance and evolution.
- Drosophila, frequently known as fruit flies or vinegar, wine, pomace or flies- is one of the most widely-used and preferred model organisms in biological research. 75 percent of the genes that cause disease in humans are also found in the fruit fly. It is used by scientists for experimental studies because of the short & simple life cycle, easy to culture, single reproduction produces large number of progeny, the genome can be mutated easily.