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Nat Commun. 2018 Apr 10;9(1):1276. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03722-x.

Population genomics of finless porpoises reveal an incipient cetacean species adapted to freshwater.

Author information

1
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, 210023, Nanjing, China.
2
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
3
BGI-Shenzhen, 518083, Shenzhen, China.
4
The Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of the Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, 310058, Hangzhou, China.
5
Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, 611130, Chengdu, China.
6
Comparative and Endocrine Biology Laboratory, Translational Research Institute-Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Woolloongabba, QLD, 4102, Australia.
7
Department of Computer Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, 999077, Hong Kong, China.
8
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA. rasmus_nielsen@berkeley.edu.
9
BGI-Shenzhen, 518083, Shenzhen, China. fangxd@genomics.cn.
10
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, 210023, Nanjing, China. gyang@njnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are a group of mammals adapted to various aquatic habitats, from oceans to freshwater rivers. We report the sequencing, de novo assembly and analysis of a finless porpoise genome, and the re-sequencing of an additional 48 finless porpoise individuals. We use these data to reconstruct the demographic history of finless porpoises from their origin to the occupation into the Yangtze River. Analyses of selection between marine and freshwater porpoises identify genes associated with renal water homeostasis and urea cycle, such as urea transporter 2 and angiotensin I-converting enzyme 2, which are likely adaptations associated with the difference in osmotic stress between ocean and rivers. Our results strongly suggest that the critically endangered Yangtze finless porpoises are reproductively isolated from other porpoise populations and harbor unique genetic adaptations, supporting that they should be considered a unique incipient species.

PMID:
29636446
PMCID:
PMC5893588
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-03722-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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