This is shown by a study of these small parasites, indicating a dead end of an evolutionary path.
A few small moths, called follicle demodexThey live a secret life inside our skin. It glides through the grease and is protected by our pores, only appearing at night, mating on the forehead, nose and nipples. Although these encounters were successful, their days as independent parasites numbered, as shown in data from one study, the first time their genomes have been sequenced.
The skin mite is endangered
The length measures only 0.3mm, I D. folliculorum It is worn by about 90% of people and is abundantly on the sides of the nose, forehead, ear canal and nipples. It lives a harmless life, feeding on the sebum that is naturally secreted by the follicular cells and is likely to be present since early childhood, having been passed on by our mothers during childbirth or breastfeeding. ” The long association with humans may suggest that they may have simple but important beneficial roles, such as keeping facial pores separated.Dr Henk Braig of Bangor University and San Juan National University in Argentina, who led the research, said.
To better understand this relationship, Brigg and colleagues sequenced the genomes of house dust mites. D. folliculorumCollected from a person’s nose and forehead using a blackhead remover, each group produces approximately 40 mites.
Their findings, published in the journal Molecular biology and evolution, revealed that moths live with a minimal protein repertoire, the lowest level observed in any other insect, arachnid or crustacean. This gene loss led to a severe reduction in cell numbers in adult mites, a potential first step in their evolution towards adopting a fully symbiotic lifestyle within our tissues. The more they adapt to us, the greater the risk that they will lose their genes, until they eventually become completely dependent on us. Without the ability to obtain additional genes from less related mites – which do not appear to be passed on between adult humans during close physical contact – their isolated presence and subsequent inbreeding may have put the mites on the way. potential trouble. extinction.
” If that happens, it could be bad news for us as well. It’s linked to healthy skin, so if we miss it, you may have skin issues – He said BBC Co-author Alejandra Perotti of the University of Reading – . We have found that these mites have a different arrangement of body parts genes than other similar species, as they are adapted to the protected life within our organism.“.
Their solitary existence, with no exposure to external threats, no competition with hosts, and no encounter with other moths with different genes, genetic reduction has led to these organisms becoming very simple, with tiny legs supported by only three unicellular muscles. . This genetic reduction leads to their nocturnal behavior – they lack UV protection and have lost the gene that causes animals to wake up in broad daylight. In addition, they were unable to produce melatonin, a compound that makes small invertebrates active at night, however, they do use the melatonin secreted by human skin at dusk – and in their unusual mating habits. The genitals are moved forward and the males must position themselves under the female during mating. One of their genes is reversed, giving them a particular arrangement of mouth attachments for harvesting food. This helps in their survival at a young age.
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