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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

Is the "growth and maintenance phase" in a cell's life cycle when cell division is about to occur
Somto Reply
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Ogechukwu Reply
الاجزاء النباتية لابد من تعقيمها قبل زراعتها في القوارير
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Complex traits such as height result from 
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chloroplast in plants and bacterial cell ; mitochondria in animal cells
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Diagram of a living cell
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Sule
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Nutty Reply
Describe the structure of starch?
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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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