Scientists have discovered two new types of unicellular organisms in the lakes of Asia. The study authors said that studying bacteria will help to better understand the processes of DNA and RNA changes.
Some changes in DNA and RNA lead to serious hereditary disorders. The study of microscopic unicellular organisms Papus ankaliazontas and Apiculatamorpha spiralis will help scientists create new drugs for the treatment of parasitic diseases, the press service of Tyumen State University reported.
Biologists have found bacteria in the fresh and salt lakes of Indonesia, Vietnam and Turkey. As a result of the study, the scientists found that Papus ankaliazontas and Apiculatamorpha spiralis were the closest relatives of some human and animal parasites, such as trypanosomes and leishmanias. In addition, a comparison of DNA sequences suggests that such organisms live on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean amid a field of hydrothermal vents called the “Lost City”.
According to scientists, the temperature of the water and the chemical composition in the region coincide with the conditions in which life once originated on Earth. The authors of the study suggest that the “Lost City” is inhabited by organisms that already lived on the planet 2.5 billion years ago.
The discovered microorganisms belong to kinetoplastids – flagellate protozoa. Usually they are considered parasites, but the bacteria found turned out to be free-living predators, eating other protozoa.
The new organisms also have the largest number of nucleotide substitutions among cases known to science. As the scientists note, further study of the processes of editing RNA and genetic material using the example of unicellular organisms may be the key to managing harmful mutations that lead to serious genetic disorders, for example, Alzheimer’s disease.