<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
This photo shows Drosophila that has normal antennae on its head, and a mutant that has legs on its head.
As seen in comparing the wild-type Drosophila (left) and the Antennapedia mutant (right), the Antennapedia mutant has legs on its head in place of antennae.

Evolution connection

Multiple alleles confer drug resistance in the malaria parasite

Malaria is a parasitic disease in humans that is transmitted by infected female mosquitoes, including Anopheles gambiae ( [link] a ), and is characterized by cyclic high fevers, chills, flu-like symptoms, and severe anemia. Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax are the most common causative agents of malaria, and P. falciparum is the most deadly ( [link] b ) . When promptly and correctly treated, P. falciparum malaria has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent. However, in some parts of the world, the parasite has evolved resistance to commonly used malaria treatments, so the most effective malarial treatments can vary by geographic region.

Photo a shows the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, which carries malaria. Photo b shows a micrograph of sickle-shaped Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. The Plasmodium is about 0.75 microns across.
The (a) Anopheles gambiae , or African malaria mosquito, acts as a vector in the transmission to humans of the malaria-causing parasite (b) Plasmodium falciparum , here visualized using false-color transmission electron microscopy. (credit a: James D. Gathany; credit b: Ute Frevert; false color by Margaret Shear; scale-bar data from Matt Russell)

In Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America, P. falciparum has developed resistance to the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine, mefloquine, and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. P. falciparum , which is haploid during the life stage in which it is infectious to humans, has evolved multiple drug-resistant mutant alleles of the dhps gene. Varying degrees of sulfadoxine resistance are associated with each of these alleles. Being haploid, P. falciparum needs only one drug-resistant allele to express this trait.

In Southeast Asia, different sulfadoxine-resistant alleles of the dhps gene are localized to different geographic regions. This is a common evolutionary phenomenon that occurs because drug-resistant mutants arise in a population and interbreed with other P. falciparum isolates in close proximity. Sulfadoxine-resistant parasites cause considerable human hardship in regions where this drug is widely used as an over-the-counter malaria remedy. As is common with pathogens that multiply to large numbers within an infection cycle, P. falciparum evolves relatively rapidly (over a decade or so) in response to the selective pressure of commonly used anti-malarial drugs. For this reason, scientists must constantly work to develop new drugs or drug combinations to combat the worldwide malaria burden.

Sumiti Vinayak, et al., “Origin and Evolution of Sulfadoxine Resistant Plasmodium falciparum ,” Public Library of Science Pathogens 6, no. 3 (2010): e1000830, doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000830.

X-linked traits

In humans, as well as in many other animals and some plants, the sex of the individual is determined by sex chromosomes. The sex chromosomes are one pair of non-homologous chromosomes. Until now, we have only considered inheritance patterns among non-sex chromosomes, or autosomes    . In addition to 22 homologous pairs of autosomes, human females have a homologous pair of X chromosomes, whereas human males have an XY chromosome pair. Although the Y chromosome contains a small region of similarity to the X chromosome so that they can pair during meiosis, the Y chromosome is much shorter and contains many fewer genes. When a gene being examined is present on the X chromosome, but not on the Y chromosome, it is said to be X-linked    .

Questions & Answers

What contribute to evolution of eukaryotes
Chiquita Reply
how transpiration occur in aquatic plants
Sajid Reply
what is the study of allelemorph
Faith Reply
what is protein
Majid Reply
any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds which have large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.
what is DNA replication?
Anirban Reply
separation of the DNA to produce new daughter cell. mostly in the form of meiosis
what is xenia
Mani Reply
can i get a broader difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning
Daniel Reply
what are the types of tissues and there functions
what is signal cascade?
nur Reply
it is the process by which plants produce their fo
Getabalew Reply
what are the substrates of this process
definition of photosynthesis
Fiko Reply
it is simply the process by which plants get there food from the sun through the use of chlorophyll
what are the advantages and disadvantages of external and internal fertilization
Mohd Reply
which type of blood group can be tranfer easily after Accidents
Durgesh Reply
O positive cause it is a general donor
It can give to other blood group except O negative that can only get from O negative
which is the polygonum type of embryo sac in angiosperms
Madhura Reply
Describe how hormones regulate blood pressure, blood volume, and kidney function
junius Reply
2 Positive water potential is placed on the left side of the tube by increasing Ψp such that the water level rises on the right side. Could you equalize the water level on each side of the tube by adding solute, and if so, how?
Sarah Reply
where are the enzymes required for electron transport system located
how transpiration occur in aquatic plant

Get the best Biology course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Biology' conversation and receive update notifications?