Big Lessons from Little Fish
Spartan researchers publish the complete genome of the Rio pearlfish, a ‘superhero’ species that can inform studies of human health and even suspended animation.
Don’t underestimate the diminutive and doe-eyed Rio pearlfish, for looks can be deceiving. This fish has evolved over the eons into one tough little customer producing eggs that can survive being completely dry for months at a time.
That’s one of the reasons Michigan State University scientists have sequenced the first complete genome of the fish. With that genome, researchers can better understand the biology and evolution of the species’ survival skills. The team also captured the full 3-D structure of the genome, which helps illuminate how and when genes turn on and interact with each other.
All of this new information strengthens the Rio pearlfish’s potential as a model organism that can further understanding of human health.