Single-Gene Knockout vs Double-Gene Knockdown and behavior
August 27, 2013 | James Kohl
The technique and report on it is outside my field so I hope someone will comment on my perception of a similar approach in:
The authors make claims in their abstract for a double gene knockdown approach combined with a.proboscis extension response (PER) assay in honey bees that involves olfactory conditioning of learning and memory in honeybees, which is detailed in the context of gustatory responses / behavior.
In my model, this links choices associated with food odors to their epigenetic effects on de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes and it also links those choices to the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones, which control reproduction in species from microbes to man. I take this to mean that the double gene knock-down has greater explanatory power in the context of systems biology and speciation — if divergence of species is due to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution.
However, if a case can be made for mutation-driven evolution, I wonder if the single gene knockout collection will prove to have greater explanatory power. The problem for me is that things like cell cycle control, metabolism, and antibiotic resistance appear to be nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled, not mutation-driven. Is there a model organism of mutation-driven thermodynamics and organism-level thermoregulation for comparison of what happens when cell lines contain a single mutated gene that is not controlled by reproduction? If not, does the fact that there is no model eliminate mutation-driven evolution from further consideration?