Evolution Intelligent Design

Red algae thrives despite losing 1/4 of genes, a billion years ago

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From ScienceDaily:

You’d think that losing 25 percent of your genes would be a big problem for survival. But not for red algae, including the seaweed used to wrap sushi.

An ancestor of red algae lost about a quarter of its genes roughly one billion years ago, but the algae still became dominant in near-shore coastal areas around the world, according to Rutgers University-New Brunswick Professor Debashish Bhattacharya, who co-authored a study in the journal Nature Communications.

The research may assist in the creation of genetically altered seaweeds that could be used as crops, help to predict the spread of seaweed pests and — as the climate warms and pollution possibly increases — control invasive seaweeds that blanket shorelines.

Scientists believe the 25 percent loss in genetic material resulted from adaptation by the red algal ancestor to an extreme environment, such as hot springs or a low-nutrient habitat. That’s when the genome of these algae became smaller and more specialized. So, how did they manage to escape these challenging conditions to occupy so many different habitats?

“It is a story akin to Phoenix rising from the ashes, and the study answers an important question in evolution,” said Bhattacharya, a distinguished professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “This lineage has an amazing evolutionary history and the algae now thrive in a much more diverse environment than hot springs.” Paper. (open access) – JunMo Lee, Dongseok Kim, Debashish Bhattacharya, Hwan Su Yoon. Expansion of phycobilisome linker gene families in mesophilic red algae. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12779-1 More.

This is a classic story of devolution, where an organism thrives by losing information, as Michael Behe explains in Darwin Devolves. Devolution is a form of evolution; it just isn’t glitzy.

See also: Devolution: Getting back to the simple life

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4 Replies to “Red algae thrives despite losing 1/4 of genes, a billion years ago

  1. 1
    Ed George says:

    How do they know that it lost 25% of its genes a billion years ago?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note:

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.

    List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
    Table 1 excerpt:
    Actinonin – Loss of enzyme activity
    Ampicillin – SOS response halting cell division
    Azithromycin – Loss of a regulatory protein
    Chloramphenicol – Reduced formation of a porin or a regulatory protein
    Ciprofloxacin – Loss of a porin or loss of a regulatory protein
    Erythromycin – Reduced affinity to 23S rRNA or loss of a regulatory protein
    Fluoroquinolones – Loss of affinity to gyrase
    Imioenem – Reduced formation of a porin
    Kanamycin – Reduced formation of a transport protein
    Nalidixic Acid – Loss or inactivation of a regulatory protein
    Rifampin – Loss of affinity to RNA polymerase
    Streptomycin – Reduced affinity to 16S rRNA or reduction of transport activity
    Tetracycline – Reduced formation of a porin or a regulatory protein
    Zittermicin A – Loss of proton motive force

    (Ancient) Cave bacteria resistant to antibiotics – April 2012
    Excerpt: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cut off from the outside world for more than four million years have been found in a deep cave. The discovery is surprising because drug resistance is widely believed to be the result of too much treatment.,,, “Our study shows that antibiotic resistance is hard-wired into bacteria. It could be billions of years old, but we have only been trying to understand it for the last 70 years,” said Dr Gerry Wright, from McMaster University in Canada, who has analysed the microbes.

    Ancient bacteria spores recovered from amber crystals and salt crystals, which are tens to hundreds of millions of years old, have been ‘revived’,,,

    Ancient Bacteria – 2008
    Excerpt: “Raul J. Cano and Monica K. Borucki discovered the bacteria preserved within the abdomens of insects encased in pieces of amber. In the last 4 years, they have revived more than 1,000 types of bacteria and microorganisms — some dating back as far as 135 million years ago, during the age of the dinosaurs.,,, In October 2000, another research group used many of the techniques developed by Cano’s lab to revive 250-million-year-old bacteria from spores trapped in salt crystals. With this additional evidence, it now seems that the “impossible” is true.”

    “After the onslaught of publicity and worldwide attention (and scrutiny) after the publication of our discovery in Science, there have been, as expected, a considerable number of challenges to our claims, but in this case, the scientific method has smiled on us. There have been at least three independent verifications of the isolation of a living microorganism from amber.”
    – R. Cano

    Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber – 19 May 1995
    Excerpt: Dr. Cano and his former graduate student Dr. Monica K. Borucki said that they had found slight but significant differences between the DNA of the ancient, 25-40 million year old amber-sealed Bacillus sphaericus and that of its modern counterpart,

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, and have now been compared to their living descendants of today. ,,,
    To the disbelieving shock of Darwinists, “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.”

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” (250 Million Year Old) Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes: Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ; – 2002
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.”

    Evolutionists were so disbelieving at this stunning lack of change, (far less change than was expected from the neo-Darwinian view), that they insisted the stunning similarity was due to modern contamination in Vreeland’s experiment. Yet the following study laid that objection to rest by finding some ancient DNA sequences that were completely unique:

    World’s Oldest Known DNA Discovered (419 million years old) – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: But the DNA was so similar to that of modern microbes that many scientists believed the samples had been contaminated. Not so this time around. A team of researchers led by Jong Soo Park of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, found six segments of identical DNA that have never been seen before by science. “We went back and collected DNA sequences from all known halophilic bacteria and compared them to what we had,” Russell Vreeland of West Chester University in Pennsylvania said. “These six pieces were unique”,,,

    I wrote an e-mail to Dr. Cano and asked him if he had performed a ‘fitness test’ on the ancient bacteria he had revived to see if they were more fit than their modern day descendants. He wrote back and said that he had done such a test and that ‘we surmised that the putative “ancient”,,, isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates” than the modern strain

    “We performed such a (fitness) test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the (ancient) amber isolate.”
    RJ Cano and MK Borucki – Fitness test which compared ancient amber sealed bacteria to its modern day descendants

    Moreover, the ancient yeast that Dr. Cano had also isolated was also found to be more resilient than modern day yeast in terms of making beer:

    Amber Ale: Brewing Beer From 45-Million-Year-Old Yeast – July 20, 2009
    Excerpt: Cano,,,brought back to life something that had been trapped in amber for more than 25 million years.,,, Cano identified it as a bacterial spore,,,
    Ambergene’s board of directors decided to confirm Cano’s claims of reanimation.
    “I was very skeptical,” says Chip Lambert, a microbiologist tapped by Ambergene to try to duplicate Cano’s results. The company provided him with amber and all of Cano’s sterilization and extraction protocols. Lambert doubled all of the cleaning processes and added some of his own. He was still able to duplicate Cano’s discovery.,,,
    In April 1995, during his amber-cracking spree, Cano made another important discovery. A piece of fossilized resin from Burma yielded,, brewer’s or baker’s yeast.
    Normally, Hackett ends the primary fermentation process by “crashing the tank”—lowering the temperature to shock the yeast into dormancy. But that didn’t work on Cano’s yeast. “It was just sitting on the bottom and nibbling on the sugar like a couch potato,” Hackett says. A strain that had survived 45 million years in suspended animation was not about to go quietly.

    Thus, these ancient bacteria are actually more resilient than their modern day descendants. Exactly the opposite finding one would have expected from a Darwinian perspective.

    Moreover, in terms of morphology, billion year old bacteria “surprisingly looked exactly like modern species,” and the similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times,”

    Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
    Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial counterparts. “They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species,” Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. “This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times,” says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;

    Here are a few more references to drive this point home:

    Excerpt: These (fossilized bacteria) cells are actually very similar to present day cyanobacteria. This is not only true for an isolated case but many living genera of cyanobacteria can be linked to fossil cyanobacteria. The detail noted in the fossils of this group gives indication of extreme conservation of morphology, more extreme than in other organisms.

    Scientists find signs of life in Australia dating back 3.48 billion years – Thu November 14, 2013
    Excerpt: “We conclude that the MISS in the Dresser Formation record a complex microbial ecosystem, hitherto unknown, and represent one of the most ancient signs of life on Earth.”… “this MISS displays the same associations that are known from modern as well as fossil” finds. The MISS also shows microbes that act like “modern cyanobacteria,”

    Geobiologist Noffke Reports Signs of Life that Are 3.48 Billion Years Old – 11/11/13
    Excerpt: the mats woven of tiny microbes we see today covering tidal flats were also present as life was beginning on Earth. The mats, which are colonies of cyanobacteria, can cause unusual textures and formations in the sand beneath them. Noffke has identified 17 main groups of such textures caused by present-day microbial mats, and has found corresponding structures in geological formations dating back through the ages.

    Thus, where you would expect the most change, i.e. in single celled organisms with high replication and mutation rates, we instead find a extreme conservation of morphology, much more extreme than in multicellular organisms. Again the exact opposite finding as we would expect under Darwinian presuppositions.

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    Darwinists are rather flexible with their belief in evolution. Species take millions of years to evolve, unless something is found that shows a species must have evolved much sooner than possible. Others, like crocodiles, don’t seem to evolve much over the course of millions of years. In the case of single celled organisms, they just need more time to mutate. For the first scientific theory to go right past the law status to fact, there’s a lot of things missing, including the logical thought process of supporters. For those not well versed in English, Darwinists are not rational in their thoughts.

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