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Science. 2014 Jun 27;344(6191):1522-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1254432.

Nonhuman genetics. Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
2
Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Biotechnology Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
3
Biotechnology Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
4
Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5
Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA 02141, USA.
6
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.
7
Department of Pharmacology and Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
8
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77483, USA.
9
Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA.
10
Department of Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70503, USA.
11
BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA. The Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, The Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA. msussman@wisc.edu manoj.samanta@systemix.org h.zakon@austin.utexas.edu.
12
Systemix Institute, Redmond, WA 98053, USA. msussman@wisc.edu manoj.samanta@systemix.org h.zakon@austin.utexas.edu.
13
Biotechnology Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. msussman@wisc.edu manoj.samanta@systemix.org h.zakon@austin.utexas.edu.

Abstract

Little is known about the genetic basis of convergent traits that originate repeatedly over broad taxonomic scales. The myogenic electric organ has evolved six times in fishes to produce electric fields used in communication, navigation, predation, or defense. We have examined the genomic basis of the convergent anatomical and physiological origins of these organs by assembling the genome of the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) and sequencing electric organ and skeletal muscle transcriptomes from three lineages that have independently evolved electric organs. Our results indicate that, despite millions of years of evolution and large differences in the morphology of electric organ cells, independent lineages have leveraged similar transcription factors and developmental and cellular pathways in the evolution of electric organs.

Comment in

PMID:
24970089
DOI:
10.1126/science.1254432
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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