New Delhi: This is one bizarre discovery! Apparently, a research has revealed that the evolutionary history of a hormone that is responsible for sexual maturity in humans, is actually written in the genes of the Starfish!
Sexual development as well as puberty in humans is generated by the release of a brain hormone known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH.
Scientists at QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, together with teams at the University of Warwick and KU Leuven in Belgium have discovered that starfish have two GnRH-like hormones – just like in fruit flies, a fact that was already found in previous studies.
As per a report in Phys.org, Professor Maurice Elphick from QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, who led the research team, said, “About half a billion years ago there were animals swimming in the oceans that would have had just one gene that coded for a GnRH-type hormone.”
“But then this gene duplicated and the two copies ultimately gave rise to the two GnRH-like hormones that we find in fruit flies and starfish. But somewhere along the evolutionary lineage that gave rise to humans, the corazonin-type hormone was lost.”
However, one fact that has scientists puzzled is how the ancestors of humans were able to get by with just one GnRH-type hormone.
For the answer to this, more studies need to be carried out which will determine the roles of GnRH-like hormones in starfish and other invertebrates.