Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sophophora, the New Model Organism

 
Meet Sophophora melanogaster. It has some major advantages as a model organism. The genome is small and there are only four chromosomes; there are thousands of well-characterized genetic markers; the genome sequence is known; developmental pathways have been worked out; it has a short life cycle.

In summary, it has all the advantages of Drosophila melanogaster. In fact, it is Drosophila melanogaster.

The latest studies show conclusively that the genus Drosophila is paraphyletic. Many of the 1500 species cluster with flies from other genera rather than with those in Drosophila. This will prompt a renaming since taxonomists these days are mostly cladists—as they should be.

The type species for the genus Drosohila is Drosophila funebris. Unfortunately, Drosophila melanogaster is not very closely related so its genus name has to be changed. The new name is Sophophora melanogaster. Read all about it on Catalogue of Organisms [Drosophila forever?M].

Now if they could only get around to changing Caenorhabditis and Saccharomyces, we'd all be much happier .....


12 comments:

  1. So, the evilutionists can only get an organism to evolve to a new genus by renaming. Therefore creationism, um, I mean ID is correct!!!!ONE!!!

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  2. What's wrong with Caenorhabditis and Saccharomyces? Did I miss something (again)?

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  3. Yes, you missed the fact that both names are hard to pronounce and impossible to spell.

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  4. Hey, when it comes to unpronounceability and difficulty of spelling, Caenorhabditis has absolutely nothing on Escherichia.

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  5. First they went after Prince, I did not stand up because I was not a singer.

    Then they went after Pluto, I did not stand up because I was not an astronomer.

    Then they went after Drosophila...

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  6. Lim Leng Hiong says,

    First they went after Prince, I did not stand up because I was not a singer.

    Then they went after Pluto, I did not stand up because I was not an astronomer.

    Then they went after Drosophila...


    That's funny. Can I quote you on Sandwalk?

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  7. This has been in the wind for a while, now. I doubt it will happen. It is true that the Drosophila subgenus has precedence for the genus name Drosophila (over the sophophora subgenus, of which D. melanogaster is a member). But Drosophila melanogaster has such a strong foothold on the genus name Drosophila that I doubt it will lose its name.

    Also, the Sophophoran subgenus only has species from the Drosophila genus. It's the Drosophila subgenus that's all messy with other genera embedded in it. If anything, the sophophorans will keep the genus name Drosophila, and the Drosophila subgenus will be split into multiple genera.

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  8. RPM says,

    I doubt it will happen.

    Me too. I'd give it about the same probability of catching on as Pan sapiens.

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  9. That's funny. Can I quote you on Sandwalk?

    Wow, of course you can.

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  10. Hmmm. This (Drosophila to Sophophora) is bound to add confusion... Are there colonials among taxonomists?

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  11. Well, as it has been recognized that renaming it to Sophophora melanogaster is not a good idea, IMHO. Therefore, we have submitted an application to the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature in order to change the type species for Drosophila from D. funebris to D. melanogaster so that the species will have the name forever. Sophophora itself is paraphyletic as the genus Lordiphosa is positioned with the subgenus.

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