Enzyme of bacterial origin promoted the evolution of longhorned beetles

Gene duplication increased the diversity and specificity of enzymes that enable larvae of longhorned beetles to degrade important wood components. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, looked closer at a group of digestive enzymes found only in this beetle family. They resurrected the primordial enzymes, which first appeared in a common ancestor of longhorned beetles. Horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to the beetle as well as ancient and recent gene duplications promoted the evolution of this family of digestive enzymes and enabled longhorned beetles to degrade the main components of the plant cell wall.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft