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一夫一妻制可能已被写入我们的基因中

kira86 于2019-02-02发布 l 已有人浏览
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是什么原因让一个物种一夫一妻,又是什么原因让一个物种脚踏多条船?答案可能存在于它们的基因当中。
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Monogamy May Be Written in Our Genes

一夫一妻制可能已被写入我们的基因中

Monogamy. What makes one species pair off, while members of a closely related species play the field? The answer may lie in their genes.

一夫一妻制(动物界称“单配性”,即:一个雄性只配一个雌性)。是什么原因让一个物种一夫一妻,而又是什么原因让一个相近物种的成员却在脚踏多条船?答案可能存在于它们的基因当中。

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin were interested in how complex characteristics arise during evolution.

德克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校的研究人员,对在进化过程中这种复杂的配对特性是如何产生的很感兴趣。

We chose to investigate this question using monogamous mating systems because animals with monogamous mating systems are available in all of the different vertebrate clades.

“我们选择用一夫一妻制来研究这个问题,是因为一夫一妻制这个制度存在于所有不同的脊椎动物中。”

Rebecca Young, a research associate and evolutionary biologist, who led the study.

研究助理及进化生物学家丽贝卡·杨(Rebecca Young)领导了这场研究。

And we were able to find species that had independently evolved monogamy in each of these lineages.

“我们能在每个生物谱系中,找到独自进化出一夫一妻制的物种。”

Young's colleague Hans Hofmann, professor of integrative biology, adds:

杨的同事、整合生物学教授汉斯·霍夫曼补充道:

So we decided early on that we didn't just want to study a particular group of animals, like mice or fish for example or a particular group of birds, and compare between monogamy or non-monogamy there. But instead take a very broad look across vertebrates, across 450 million years of evolution when these fish and birds and frogs and us shared the last common ancestor.

“所以,我们很早就决定我们不只是想研究一组比如老鼠和鱼,又或者一组特定的鸟类这样特定动物,然后在这个范围内比较一夫一妻制或非一夫一妻制。我们而是在广泛的范围里研究脊椎动物,跨越4.5亿年的进化过程,到这些鱼类、鸟类、青蛙和我们人类拥有共同的祖先时,来研究整个脊椎动物的进化过程。

The researchers chose five pairs of species...and looked to see if they could spot a signature pattern of gene activity that was shared only by animals that were monogamous.

研究人员在五个物种里各选一对,看看他们是否能发现只有一夫一妻制的动物才会共有的一种基因活动的特征模式。

And they discovered a set of 24 genes whose activity in the brain is strongly associated with monogamy...including genes involved in neural development, learning and memory, and cognition. The results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

他们还发现了一组由24个基因组成的基因,这些基因在大脑中的活动与一夫一妻制有着密切的联系,其中包括与神经发育、学习和认知有关的基因。研究发表在《美国国家科学院院刊》杂志上。

And again this is surprising because they've evolved monogamy independently. And their, the species have diverged for hundreds of millions of years from one another. So we might expect because of this distance, evolutionary distance, that gene expression in the brain would be quite different. But in fact we find this shared signature that seems to be related to the mating system of the organism.

“这同样令人惊讶,因为它们是独自进化出的一夫一妻制。由于它们各自的物种已经彼此分化了数亿年,所以我们可能会以为,由于这种距离---进化距离,大脑中的基因表达会有很大的不同。但事实上,我们发现,这种共同的特征似乎与生物体的交配体系都有关联。”

Now, those genes may not be setting up entirely new patterns of behavior. They may just be building on underlying mechanisms that all species share. Take for example, pair bonding.

现在,这些基因可能还没有建立起全新的行为模式,它们可能只是建立在所有物种共有的潜在机制上。比如说,配对方式。

To form a pair bond, one has to tolerate another individual for a long period of time."

“要形成一种伴侣关系,一方必须容忍另一方很长一段时间。”

Yet, even members of the most intolerant species have to put up with one another...at least for as long as it takes to get the mating done.

然而,即使是最不能容忍(长期关系)的物种成员,也不得不彼此忍耐,至少在完成交配所需的时间段内是这样的。

Shrews is a great example...so they tolerate each other for about one day a year. So those mechanisms already exist in very aggressive species. But they just happen for short periods of time. So we think potentially what's going on is modification of these conserved pathways that exist in multiple different kinds of mating systems get elaborated or modified in the evolution of monogamy.

“鼩鼱就是一个很好的例子,所以鼩鼱们约一年忍受伴侣一天。所以这些机制已经存在于很有‘进取意识’的物种中,但这些机制每次发生的时间都比较短。所以,我们认为,可能发生的情况是,在一夫一妻制的演变过程中,对存在于多种不同交配体系中的这些保守方式会略有变化。”

In principle, Young and Hofmann and their collaborators could have extended the study to humans..perhaps comparing our gene expression signature to that of our less monogamy relatives, say chimps. The results could suggest whether we should pick up a few ex's a card for Valentine's Day.

原则上,杨和霍夫曼以及他们的合作者可以将这项研究扩展到人类身上,也许可以将人类的基因特征与我们不那么一夫一妻制的亲戚,比如黑猩猩进行比较。研究结果可以建议,我们是否应该在情人节送前任们一张情人贺卡。

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