Researchers at the University of Oslo (UiO) keep discovering surprises in the Atlantic cod genome. The most recent study has revealed an unusual amount of short and identical DNA sequences, which might give cod an evolutionary advantage.
Or else it is something the cod could live with or else it makes no difference at present. If we don’t have any very definite information, why talk about “evolutionary advantage” at all?
“We have already found a fish species that has even more tandem repeats than cod, namely the related haddock. Both cod (Latin name: Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) are members of the cod family (Gadidae). This may indicate that the whole group has an increased proportion of such repetitions,” adds Nederbragt. Paper. (public access) – Ole K. Tørresen, Bastiaan Star, Sissel Jentoft, William B. Reinar, Harald Grove, Jason R. Miller, Brian P. Walenz, James Knight, Jenny M. Ekholm, Paul Peluso, Rolf B. Edvardsen, Ave Tooming-Klunderud, Morten Skage, Sigbjørn Lien, Kjetill S. Jakobsen, Alexander J. Nederbragt. An improved genome assembly uncovers prolific tandem repeats in Atlantic cod. BMC Genomics, 2017; 18 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-3448-x [plus 2 more] More.
The good thing is: If we don’t hear so much now about “junk DNA” (a presumed vast library of Darwinian detritus) we can more easily clarify how we would determine “evolutionary advantage.”
See also: Junk RNA helps embryos sort themselves out
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