Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation.

Journal Article

Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, G; Li, C; Li, Q; Li, B; Larkin, DM; Lee, C; Storz, JF; Antunes, A; Greenwold, MJ; Meredith, RW; Ödeen, A; Cui, J; Zhou, Q; Xu, L; Pan, H; Wang, Z; Jin, L; Zhang, P; Hu, H; Yang, W; Hu, J; Xiao, J; Yang, Z; Liu, Y; Xie, Q; Yu, H; Lian, J; Wen, P; Zhang, F; Li, H; Zeng, Y; Xiong, Z; Liu, S; Zhou, L; Huang, Z; An, N; Wang, J; Zheng, Q; Xiong, Y; Wang, G; Wang, B; Wang, J; Fan, Y; da Fonseca, RR; Alfaro-Núñez, A; Schubert, M; Orlando, L; Mourier, T; Howard, JT; Ganapathy, G; Pfenning, A et al.

Published Date

  • December 11, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 346 / 6215

Start / End Page

  • 1311 - 1320

PubMed ID

  • 25504712

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1251385

Language

  • eng