World's Longest Collagen Molecule

Monday September 27th, Dr. Bradley Layton presented an invited seminar to The University of Montana Chemistry and Biochemistry Department entitled "Nanomechanics of Collagen Evolution in Trichodesmium erythraeum" During the talk Dr. Layton described his work where he and a group of his students discovered what they call “the world’s largest fishing net.” An ancient marine cyanobacterium that is responsible for nearly half of the world’s nitrogen fixation and a large fraction of CO2 sequestration also has a gene that codes for a collagen molecule that is 10% longer than anything else seen in nature. Layton thinks that this gene may have been pirated into the bacterial genome by a marine virus just as fish were “getting big” 450 million years ago as a way to compete for space in the open ocean.

Related Paper:
Collagen’s Triglycine Repeat Number and Phylogeny Suggest
an Interdomain Transfer Event from a Devonian or Silurian
Organism into Trichodesmium erythraeum
J Mol Evol (2008) 66:539–554

UM Tech Fair - Wednesday 9/22

More than two dozen campus technologies will be on display at the Tech Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the University Center Atrium at The University of Montana.

During the event students, faculty and staff can visit with technology support staff at tables, and a series of short presentations will be offered throughout the day.

Full details can be found at the event website: