EEL Genome Sequencing to reveal numerous Secrets

Surprisingly, the genome of the electric eel has been sequenced. This finding has uncovered the mystery of how fish with electric organs have advanced six times in the historical backdrop of life to create electricity outside of their bodies.

"It's truly exciting to find that complex structures like the electric organ, which evolved completely independently in six groups of fish, seem to share the same genetic toolkit," said Jason Gallant, MSU zoologist and co-lead author of the paper. "Biologists are starting to learn, using genomics, that evolution makes similar structures from the same starting materials, even if the organisms aren't even that closely related."

The research, distributed in the ebb and flow issue of Science, sheds light on the hereditary outline used to advance these intricate, novel organs. It was co-headed by Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Texas-Austin and the Systemix Institute.

"Evolution has removed the ability of muscle cells to contract and changed the distribution of proteins in the cell membrane; now all electrocytes do is push ions across a membrane to create a massive flow of positive charge," said Lindsay Traeger, U-W graduate student and co-author of the study.

The "in-series alignment" of the electrocytes and unique polarity of each cell allows for the "summation of voltages, much like batteries stacked in series in a flashlight," said Michael Sussman, U-W biochemist.


The field of bioinformatics has grown tremendously with the realization of its true potential. The market would reach $12.86 billion, witha CAGR of 21.2%, by 2020, as per a report of Allied Market Research. We could await more exciting breakthroughs in the field of bioinformatics.

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