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Nat Genet. 2015 Mar;47(3):272-5. doi: 10.1038/ng.3198. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

Convergent evolution of the genomes of marine mammals.

Author information

  • 11] Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. [2] Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 2Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • 3School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
  • 4Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • 5Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 6Dolfinarium Harderwijk, Harderwijk, the Netherlands.
  • 7Sirenia Project, Southeast Ecological Science Center, US Geological Survey, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
  • 81] Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [2] Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 91] Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Science Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA. [2] Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
  • 10Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.
  • 11Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, USA.
  • 12Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 131] Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. [2] Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 141] School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. [2] Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
  • 151] Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. [2] Trace and Environmental DNA Laboratory, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Abstract

Marine mammals from different mammalian orders share several phenotypic traits adapted to the aquatic environment and therefore represent a classic example of convergent evolution. To investigate convergent evolution at the genomic level, we sequenced and performed de novo assembly of the genomes of three species of marine mammals (the killer whale, walrus and manatee) from three mammalian orders that share independently evolved phenotypic adaptations to a marine existence. Our comparative genomic analyses found that convergent amino acid substitutions were widespread throughout the genome and that a subset of these substitutions were in genes evolving under positive selection and putatively associated with a marine phenotype. However, we found higher levels of convergent amino acid substitutions in a control set of terrestrial sister taxa to the marine mammals. Our results suggest that, whereas convergent molecular evolution is relatively common, adaptive molecular convergence linked to phenotypic convergence is comparatively rare.

PMID:
25621460
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4644735
Free PMC Article
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