Eileen Hamilton, Michael Lawson, and Eduardo Orias Credit: George Foulsham

Discovery of the Sex-Selection Process of the Multi-Sexed Organism Tetrahymena

Mar 27, 2013

By identifying Tetrahymena's long-unknown mating-type genes, a team of UC Santa Barbara biologists led by Professor Eduardo Orias, with research colleagues at the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and at the J. Craig Venter Institute, uncovered the unusual process of DNA rearrangements required for sex determination in this organism. The discovery has potential human health implications ranging from tissue transplantation to cancer treatment, including allorecognition –– the ability of an organism to distinguish its own tissues from those of another –– which can be a first line of defense against infection and illness. The findings were published in the journal PLOS Biology.

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