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Sci. Signal., 4 January 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 154, p. ec9
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4154ec9]


Evolution Exploiting Variation

Guy Riddihough

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

Molecular chaperones help newly synthesized proteins fold, protecting the macromolecular machinery of the cell from various stresses; for example, the highly conserved heat shock proteins (Hsps) protect against elevated temperature. Hsp90 has also been suggested both to buffer against and to potentiate existing genetic variation in a population. To investigate the generality of these claims, Jarosz and Lindquist screened 96 Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains from various ecological niches—soil, fruit, sake, beer, and infected humans—as well as assessed their adaptive value under different growth conditions. Hsp90 determined the adaptive value of ~20% of the genetic variation in baker's yeast, with half of the traits being buffered and half potentiated by Hsp90.

D. F. Jarosz, S. Lindquist, Hsp90 and environmental stress transform the adaptive value of natural genetic variation. Science 330, 1820–1824 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: G. Riddihough, Exploiting Variation. Sci. Signal. 4, ec9 (2011).

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