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Genome Biol Evol. 2017 Dec 1;9(12):3260-3264. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evx187.

The Novel Evolution of the Sperm Whale Genome.

Author information

1
McDonnell Genome Institute, Washington University, St Louis.
2
Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF-CSIC), PRBB, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas.
4
Department of Animal Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana.
5
Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.
6
Department of Neuroscience, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
7
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University.
8
Department of Environmental Health Science, University of Georgia, Environmental Health Science Bldg, Athens, Georgia.
9
Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine, University of Louisville.
10
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Erratum in

Abstract

The sperm whale, made famous by Moby Dick, is one of the most fascinating of all ocean-dwelling species given their unique life history, novel physiological adaptations to hunting squid at extreme ocean depths, and their position as one of the earliest branching toothed whales (Odontoceti). We assembled the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) genome and resequenced individuals from multiple ocean basins to identify new candidate genes for adaptation to an aquatic environment and infer demographic history. Genes crucial for skin integrity appeared to be particularly important in both the sperm whale and other cetaceans. We also find sperm whales experienced a steep population decline during the early Pleistocene epoch. These genomic data add new comparative insight into the evolution of whales.

KEYWORDS:

cetaceans; genome; sperm whale

PMID:
28985367
PMCID:
PMC5726484
DOI:
10.1093/gbe/evx187
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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