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Mol Biol Evol. 2019 Apr 12. pii: msz084. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msz084. [Epub ahead of print]

Signatures of Divergence, Invasiveness and Terrestralization Revealed by Four Apple Snail Genomes.

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Department of Ocean Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China.
Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA.
Instituto de Histología y Embriología (IHEM-CONICET) and Instituto de Fisiología (FCM-UNCuyo), Mendoza, Argentina.
Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas de La Plata "Prof. Dr. Rodolfo R. Brenner", INIBIOLP. CONICET CCT La Plata - Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), La Plata, Argentina.
Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, UNLP, La Plata, Argentina.
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université de Lille, UMR 8198 Evo-Eco-Paleo, Lille, France.
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 1525 Bishop Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96817, USA.
Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii, 3050 Maile Way, Gilmore 408, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Bioresource and Eco-environmental Science, College of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.


The family Ampullariidae includes both aquatic and amphibious apple snails. They are an emerging model for evolutionary studies due to the high diversity, ancient history and wide geographical distribution. Insight into drivers of ampullariid evolution is hampered, however, by the lack of genomic resources. Here we report the genomes of four ampullariids spanning the Old World (Lanistes nyassanus) and New World (Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea maculata and Marisa cornuarietis) clades. The ampullariid genomes have conserved ancient bilaterial karyotype features and a novel Hox gene cluster rearrangement, making them valuable in comparative genomic studies. They have expanded gene families related to environmental sensing and cellulose digestion, which may have facilitated some ampullarids to become notorious invasive pests. In the amphibious Pomacea, novel acquision of an egg neurotoxin and a protein for making the calcareous eggshell may have been key adaptations enabling their transition from underwater to terrestrial egg deposition.


Hox genes; gastropod; gene duplication; genomics; inter-chromosome rearrangement; mollusc


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