Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Ecol Evol. 2014 Jun;29(6):336-46. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 May 1.

Molecular evolution tracks macroevolutionary transitions in Cetacea.

Author information

1
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address: 1mmcgowen1@gmail.com.
2
Department of Biology, University of California-Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
3
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Abstract

Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) is a model group for investigating the molecular signature of macroevolutionary transitions. Recent research has begun to reveal the molecular underpinnings of the remarkable anatomical and behavioral transformation in this clade. This shift from terrestrial to aquatic environments is arguably the best-understood major morphological transition in vertebrate evolution. The ancestral body plan and physiology were extensively modified and, in many cases, these crucial changes are recorded in cetacean genomes. Recent studies have highlighted cetaceans as central to understanding adaptive molecular convergence and pseudogene formation. Here, we review current research in cetacean molecular evolution and the potential of Cetacea as a model for the study of other macroevolutionary transitions from a genomic perspective.

KEYWORDS:

aquatic adaptation; convergence; pseudogenes; sensory genes; whale

PMID:
24794916
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2014.04.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center