New Science this Week #1: Rapidly Evolving Bacteria Resurrect Flagella

Tiffany Taylor of the University of Reading in England and her colleagues have added more data to the mountains of data that proves evolution as a fact. Taylor and her colleagues engineered the soil bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens so they lacked their tiny tails. This made the bacteria extremely disadvantaged in their environment, as they need these tails to move around and find food. However, after 96 hours in a low-food environment, the bacteria began to grow flagella again.

Two mutations occurred that allowed the genetic networks to be rewritten to get around the deleted gene. These mutations involved nitrogen uptake and flagella growth or regulation. This is an amazing example of how evolution can use mutations to make organisms more adaptable to their environment.

You can read the paper from the study here. 


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