Comparative Ecology of Microorganisms and Macroorganisms by John H. Andrews

By John H. Andrews

The most vital function of the trendy artificial idea of evolution is its origin upon a superb number of organic disciplines. -G. L. STEBBINS, 1968, p. 17 This e-book is written with the objective of proposing ecologically major anal­ ogies among the biology of microorganisms and macroorganisms. I think about such parallels to be vital for 2 purposes. First, they serve to stress that although diversified existence might be, there are universal issues on the ecological point (not to say different levels). moment, examine performed with both microbes or macroorganisms has implications which go beyond a specific box of analysis. even though either issues might seem seen, the actual fact continues to be that at­ tempts to forge a conceptual synthesiS are astonishingly meager. whereas unify­ ing techniques won't unavoidably be strictly right, they permit one to attract analogies throughout disciplines. New beginning issues are found as a conse­ quence, and new methods of issues emerge. The macroscopic organisms ('macroorganisms') contain so much represen­ tatives of the plant and animal kingdoms. I interpret the time period 'microorganism' (microbe) actually to intend the small or microscopic kinds of existence, and that i contain during this class the micro organism, the protists (excluding the macroscopic eco-friendly, brown, and pink algae), and the fungi. sure greater organisms, comparable to a number of the nematodes, fall logically inside this realm, yet aren't mentioned at any length.

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The following metaphor allows us to categorize the major kinds of genetic variability. If the text of this paragraph is viewed as a molecule of DNA from which copies are made, then there are basically three sorts of changes that can occur in the transmission of information. First, individual letters or, second, entire words and phrases could be deleted, added, or shuffled about. A third possibility is that the text might remain intact but unreadable if portions were typeset in white rather than black.

Thus, overall, selection should favor organisms 'choosing' optimal allocation, thereby increasing fitness as measured by the number of descendants. The major factors bearing on this model are the subject of the following chapters and are presented in a way chosen to highlight the analogies and distinctions between the ecology of micro- and macroorganisms. These subsequent topics include genetic variation and the means by which different organisms transfer genetic information (Chapter 2); the nutritional mode; size; growth dynamics and growth form of the individual (Chapters 3, 4, and 5, respectively), the life cycle (Chapter 6), and interaction between the individual and the environment (Chapter 7).

The Repair Hypothesis states that sex arose and is maintained because of the repair of genetic damage by recombination (Bernstein et al. 1985, 1988). Recombination appears to be initiated by breaks in DNA. Enzymes involved in crossing over seem to be responsible for repair of damage to DNA, a process that evolved in bacteria. Maintenance is further promoted wherever the two DNA molecules come from different individuals (outcrossing). The key to this idea is the distinction between damage to DNA and mutation, and the implications of both events.

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