Decoding Bacterial Methylomes
A new technique could soon spur unprecedented insight into the role of bacterial epigenetics in the evolution of pathogen virulence.
Excerpt: This methylation-laying enzyme resulted in a complete epigenetic makeover, the team learned. The group is still working on characterizing the effects of these epigenetic modifications, but Schadt said that the various pathways that were upregulated and downregulated in the bacterium, including changes in swarming and growth patterns, could have contributed to making it more virulent.
My comment: The effect of the methylation-laying enzyme invites comparison with genes of large effect influence nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution in species from microbes to man.
My comment to the Scientist site: Is methylation nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in microbes? If so, this article suggests to me that antibiotic resistence is altered by nutrient-dependent thermodynamically controlled changes in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance. Nutrient-dependent changes in the balance could cause differences in intracellular signaling, internuclear interactions, chromatin remodeling, stochastic gene expression, and changes in seemingly futile cycles of nutrient-dependent de novo protein biosynthesis and degradation.
Successful metabolism of nutrients and protein biosynthesis results in protein degradation to species-specific pheromones that control reproduction by enabling quorum sensing (i.e., the pheromones epigenetically effect organism-level and colony-wide thermoregulation). The ability of one microbial ‘species’ to incorporate nutrient availability and to also withstand nutrient-dependent thermodynamically-controlled increased ‘heat’ is then associated with the species-wide ability to communicate successful competition for nutrients via pheromone production that controls colony growth (and antibiotic resistence in Escherichia coli, for example).
If anyone understands how what I just suggested may explain nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution via ecological and social niche construction in microbes, comments are welcome. I do not have the interdisciplinary expertise to move forward with anything more than just a model of cause and effect, and have received no feedback on any aspect of the model or its extension across species from microbes to man in Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and thermoregulation.
Perhaps I’ve missed something that is obvious to others.