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    Home > Biochemistry News > Biotechnology News > Cell: Looking at the evolution of complex organs from the unique skills of the paederus

    Cell: Looking at the evolution of complex organs from the unique skills of the paederus

    • Last Update: 2021-12-29
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Rove beetles are one of the chemists in the insect world.
    They synthesize toxic compounds in their bodies and use them as weapons to defend against predators, enabling them to survive in multiple ecosystems such as fallen leaves and soil

    .
    Rove insects are currently considered to be the largest family of metazoans, with approximately 64,000 species

    .

    Researchers at the California Institute of Technology recently conducted an in-depth study of a type of paederus
    .
    They discovered how two different cell types combine to form a specialized gland to make and secrete these defensive compounds

    .
    This result was published in the "Cell" magazine last week and is of great significance for mapping the evolution of more complex organs in the entire animal kingdom

    .

    Corresponding author Joseph Parker of the California Institute of Technology said: "We are very interested in how the paederus pieced together these glands in the abdomen, because these structures are composed of different cell types
    .
    They are reflected behind them.
    A bigger problem: How do complex organs evolve? Organs are also made up of many different cell types, and these cells seem to be able to cooperate seamlessly

    .
    It seems difficult to explain how this cooperation occurs during evolution

    .
    "

    Joseph Parker is an entomologist and evolutionist who has been studying paederous insects for many years
    .
    The uniqueness of the paederus is that they can successfully penetrate into the enemy and make a place for themselves in many different ecosystems, such as hiding in marching ants

    .

    In the face of fierce marching ants, one way for a paederus to survive is to release a defensive compound through the glands in the abdomen, which triggers pain receptors
    .
    The body of the paederus is very flexible, and these compounds can be applied directly to the predator to protect itself

    .

    The object of this study is a paederus called the brown beetle (Dalotia coriaria), which releases a mixture of two types of compounds from the tergal gland in its abdomen
    .
    The first category is benzoquinone compounds, which are highly toxic but are solids themselves; the second category is solvents, derived from fatty acids

    .
    The latter are benign in themselves, but they dissolve benzoquinone to make it a weapon

    .

    After studying the dorsal glands of paederans, Parker's team discovered two cell types with different divisions of labor
    .
    "One cell type produces benzoquinone, and the other cell type is responsible for solvent production," Parker said

    .
    "The two together endow the paederus with adaptive functions

    .
    "

    In order to understand how these substances are produced in each cell, they conducted single-cell transcriptomics analysis on the abdomen of the paederus to discover new enzyme pathways
    .
    Parker points out: "We can discover the biosynthetic pathways of each cell type, and then carefully study how these pathways fit together during evolution

    .
    "

    It is worth noting that the solvent-producing cells were found to be a mixture of cells, including the cells that make up the exoskeleton of the paederus and two ancient metabolic cell types
    .
    "The paederus recruited a major gene expression program from these ancient metabolic cell types and installed it in a piece of the stratum corneum to form a gland," Parker said

    .

    After that, the researchers put the worms and ants together and competed in the same field
    .
    They found that when the solvent or benzoquinone pathway is disrupted, the paederus loses its defense capabilities

    .
    This indicates that under natural selection, both cell types are necessary for the chemical defense system of the paederus

    .
    They also found that the compound produced by the dorsal plate gland has antibacterial properties, which further improves the fitness value of the gland

    .

    The author believes that the dorsal glands are produced through the co-evolution of two cell types
    .
    "Solvent cells create an ecological niche for the second type of cell to facilitate the production of solid benzoquinone

    .
    The emergence of a highly toxic secretion greatly improves the fitness of the gland, locking the two types of cells in one unit, Let them cooperate

    .
    Essentially, a new organ is formed," Parker said

    .

    "Looking at the tree of life in the animal kingdom, you will see complex multicellular organs, which are composed of many different types of cells and work together
    .
    " He concluded

    .
    "For example, our eyes contain about 70 different cell types.
    These cells work together to form the visual system

    .
    As you can imagine, the scene we find in the dorsal gland may go through many rounds and eventually produce quite Complex multicellular complexity

    .
    "

    ###

    Evolutionary assembly of cooperating cell types in an animal chemical defense system

    DOI: https://doi.
    org/10.
    1016/j.
    cell.
    2021.
    11.
    014


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