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References in periodicals archive ?
coli and Buchnera suggest that the Buchnera genome has changed substantially through its so-called domestication.
In Buchnera, the amazing thing is that they keep all the pathways for the essential amino acids and lose all the nonessential amino acids that there is no shortage of [in the host]," says Moran.
Not only did Buchnera keep the genes for essential amino acids, but it added extra copies of those genes, earlier studies found.
As Buchnera began producing more essential amino acids, the bacterium lost genes for other molecules required for independent living.
Clark of Baumann's lab and her colleagues found that Carsonella not only has fewer genes than Buchnera but the genes overlap each other, so the tail end of one gene may serve as the beginning of the next one.
In Buchnera and other endosymbionts, decay and loss of genes seems to signal more than adaptation to the easy life of a kept bacterium.
Sandstrom has been studying what happens as genes disappear in Buchnera.
Wernegreen and Moran saw an example of this in a species of Buchnera that has faulty copies of the gene for making tryptophan, one of the aphid's essential amino acids.
The symbiosis has lasted so long that Buchnera have even evolved to meet the nutritional needs of their host aphids, says Paul Baumann of the University of California, Davis.
Her data suggest that the populations of Buchnera in each aphid are too small for natural selection to weed out harmful mutations.