Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Researchers: Horizontal gene transfer from invertebrates to snakes helps solve Australian snake mystery

Spread the love

The most venomous australian snakes came by sea rather than by land, according to a research group led by the University of Adelaide:

In a paper published in Genes, the researchers analysed the genomes of two Australian elapids (front fanged snakes), a tiger and a brown snake, and compared them to marine and semi-marine elapid sea snakes and Asian elapids.

They inferred that the ancestor of all Australian elapids had accumulated self-replicating and self-mobilising genes (jumping genes) that were not present in their land relatives but came from another source altogether.

Corresponding author Professor David Adelson from the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences says, “While we know all marine and semi-marine sea snakes descended from a common Australian land-based ancestor, the origin of Australian elapids has been debated for some time.

“Some believe their ancestors travelled by land, whereas others hold the more contentious view that a marine or semi-marine ancestor swam here.

“In our research we found a number of genes that were present in the ancestor of all Australian elapids but could not be traced to a snake ancestor; instead they could be traced to similar transposable gene sequences found in marine life, including fish, sea squirts, sea urchins, bivalves, and turtles.

“This indicates the marine environment transferred the new genetic material into the snakes and offers new support to the argument that the first Australian elapids swam to our shores. They must have previously acquired the new genetic material during an ancestral period when they were adapted to marine life.”

University of Adelaide, “Mystery origin of iconic Aussie snakes unlocked” at ScienceDaily (February 10, 2022)

Slow roll this one: “could not be traced to a snake ancestor; instead they could be traced to similar transposable gene sequences found in marine life, including fish, sea squirts, sea urchins, bivalves, and turtles”

The researchers identified 14 distinct transfer events of the new genetic material from other marine organisms, with eight genes uniquely present in the marine and semi-marine sea snake genomes. In the case of the semi-marine snake genome, the acquired genes accounted for as much as 8-12% of the total genome sequence.

“This meant that we could unambiguously determine the major genetic differences between land and marine/semi-marine snakes were a consequence of migration into a marine environment,” said Professor Adelson.

“This is the first time that jumping genes have been used to confirm the evolutionary history of any animal species, and this research definitively proved that the common ancestor of all Australian elapids adapted to a marine environment.

University of Adelaide, “Mystery origin of iconic Aussie snakes unlocked” at ScienceDaily (February 10, 2022)

Just think of all the Darwinism that would have been thrown at this transition decades ago. If the account holds up, it’s another instance of a less neat but more accurate picture of the history of life.

The paper is open access.

You may also wish to read: Horizontal gene transfer: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more

2 Replies to “Researchers: Horizontal gene transfer from invertebrates to snakes helps solve Australian snake mystery

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Thinking in a panpsychic way…. The sea wants to welcome a wide variety of creatures to maximize its order and beauty. So it places an ‘incentive package’ of transferable genes in some tasty algae and bacteria. Land creatures who venture into the sea and absorb the welcome pill start adapting to sea life.

  2. 2
    Pearlman says:

    Nice, aligns well with not just ID, but also YeC. That adapted to sea span Can/does reconcile with that period being between the breakup of the original single continent mid the 1656 anno-mundi Mabul impacts epoch year, aka global flood of Noach and mid The ice ages, that set in cause and effect due to that global flood of Nosch Mabul epoch.
    About 340 years until the approximate 1996 anno-mundi end of The ice ages. 5782-1656=4126 YA till 5782-1996 = 3786 YA. So starting 1656/5782 = 29% into history of reptilian life on Earth.
    reference Pearlman YeC for the alignment of scriptural testimony, science and ancient civ.

Leave a Reply