Download Comparative Ecology of Microorganisms and Macroorganisms by John H. Andrews PDF

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By John H. Andrews

The most vital characteristic of the trendy artificial idea of evolution is its origin upon an excellent number of organic disciplines. -G. L. STEBBINS, 1968, p. 17 This publication is written with the target of proposing ecologically major anal­ ogies among the biology of microorganisms and macroorganisms. I contemplate such parallels to be vital for 2 purposes. First, they serve to stress that although different lifestyles might be, there are universal subject matters on the ecological point (not to say different levels). moment, examine performed with both microbes or macroorganisms has implications which go beyond a selected box of analysis. even supposing either issues might seem seen, the actual fact is still that at­ tempts to forge a conceptual synthesiS are astonishingly meager. whereas unify­ ing recommendations would possibly not unavoidably be strictly right, they permit one to attract analogies throughout disciplines. New beginning issues are chanced on as a conse­ quence, and new methods of taking a look at issues emerge. The macroscopic organisms ('macroorganisms') comprise such a lot represen­ tatives of the plant and animal kingdoms. I interpret the time period 'microorganism' (microbe) actually to intend the small or microscopic types of lifestyles, and that i comprise during this classification the micro organism, the protists (excluding the macroscopic eco-friendly, brown, and crimson algae), and the fungi. sure better organisms, reminiscent of some of the nematodes, fall logically inside this realm, yet aren't mentioned at any length.

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Epigenetic controls Epigenesis is the translation of genotype and environment into phenotype (Cheverud 1984). Epigenetic controls are particularly striking in the unfurling of the developmental program. , their developmental fate becomes predictable) followed by commitment (their developmental fate becomes irreversible) and ultimately differentiation into distinct tissue types. For instance, one of the pair of X chromosomes in female mammals becomes inactivated during embryogenesis, and liver cells somehow come to act differently from nerve cells or the rod and cone cells of the eye.

Third, the impact of a mutation will depend on the stage of development of an organism. Mutations occurring in early ontogeny, that is at the blastula stage, are much more likely to be lethal because of their far-reaching impact on subsequent differentiation. 168). As Bonner notes, it follows from this that any mutation at any stage in the life of a unicellular organism is more likely to be lethal than would a similar mutation during most of the life of a macroorganism. The first mutational class consists of base pair (intragenic or 'point') substitutions in the nucleotide sequence.

Definitions of sex vary considerably (Michod and Levin 1988). I consider sex to be the bringing together in a single cell of genes from two (or rarely more) genetically different individuals (Maynard Smith 1978). In most but not all organisms sex is tied to reproduction. Prokaryotes and certain parasexual events in the fungi, described later, are the major exceptions. The most important consequence of sex is thus that the zygote, or its functional equivalent in prokaryotes, acquires new genes (mutations in the germ cells of one or both parents) and new gene combinations.

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