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Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 16;5:14106. doi: 10.1038/srep14106.

Donkey genome and insight into the imprinting of fast karyotype evolution.

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College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, 306 Zhaowuda Road, Hohhot 010018, P. R. China.
School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiaotong University; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China.
Shanghai Personal Biotechnology Limited Company, 218 Yindu Road, Shanghai 200231, P. R. China.
SRA Inc. 6003 Executive Blvd. Suite 400, Rockville, MD20852, USA.


The donkey, like the horse, is a promising model for exploring karyotypic instability. We report the de novo whole-genome assemblies of the donkey and the Asiatic wild ass. Our results reflect the distinct characteristics of donkeys, including more effective energy metabolism and better immunity than horses. The donkey shows a steady demographic trajectory. We detected abundant satellite sequences in some inactive centromere regions but not in neocentromere regions, while ribosomal RNAs frequently emerged in neocentromere regions but not in the obsolete centromere regions. Expanded miRNA families and five newly discovered miRNA target genes involved in meiosis may be associated with fast karyotype evolution. APC/C, controlling sister chromatid segregation, cytokinesis, and the establishment of the G1 cell cycle phase were identified by analysis of miRNA targets and rapidly evolving genes.

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