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Science. 2019 Jun 21;364(6446). pii: eaav6312. doi: 10.1126/science.aav6312.

Biological adaptations in the Arctic cervid, the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

Author information

1
Center for Ecological and Environmental Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China.
2
Center for Circadian Clocks, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.
3
School of Biology and Basic Medical Sciences, Medical College, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.
4
Department of Special Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Institute of Special Animal and Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun 130112, China.
5
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China.
6
Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Oslo 0102, Norway.
7
Section for Computational and RNA Biology, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N 2200, Denmark.
8
Section for Evolutionary Genomics, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N 2200, Denmark.
9
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University Museum, Trondheim 7491, Norway.
10
Center for Ecological and Environmental Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China. lizhipeng01@caas.cn wwang@mail.kiz.ac.cn qiuqiang@lzu.edu.cn.
11
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China.
12
Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China.
13
Department of Special Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Institute of Special Animal and Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun 130112, China. lizhipeng01@caas.cn wwang@mail.kiz.ac.cn qiuqiang@lzu.edu.cn.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

The reindeer is an Arctic species that exhibits distinctive biological characteristics, for which the underlying genetic basis remains largely unknown. We compared the genomes of reindeer against those of other ruminants and nonruminant mammals to reveal the genetic basis of light arrhythmicity, high vitamin D metabolic efficiency, the antler growth trait of females, and docility. We validate that two reindeer vitamin D metabolic genes (CYP27B1 and POR) show signs of positive selection and exhibit higher catalytic activity than those of other ruminants. A mutation upstream of the reindeer CCND1 gene endows an extra functional binding motif of the androgen receptor and thereby may result in female antlers. Furthermore, a mutation (proline-1172→threonine) in reindeer PER2 results in loss of binding ability with CRY1, which may explain circadian arrhythmicity in reindeer.

PMID:
31221829
DOI:
10.1126/science.aav6312

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