The genome of the platyfish, Xiphophorus maculatus, provides insights into evolutionary adaptation and several complex traits

Manfred Schartl*, Ronald B. Walter, Yingjia Shen, Tzintzuni Garcia, Julian Catchen, Angel Amores, Ingo Braasch, Domitille Chalopin, Jean-Nicolas Volff, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Angelo Bisazza, Pat Minx, LaDeana Hillier, Richard K. Wilson, Susan Fuerstenberg, Jeffrey Boore, Steve Searle, John H. Postlethwait, Wesley C. Warren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Several attributes intuitively considered to be typical mammalian features, such as complex behavior, live birth and malignant disease such as cancer, also appeared several times independently in lower vertebrates. The genetic mechanisms underlying the evolution of these elaborate traits are poorly understood. The platyfish, X. maculatus, offers a unique model to better understand the molecular biology of such traits. We report here the sequencing of the platyfish genome. Integrating genome assembly with extensive genetic maps identified an unexpected evolutionary stability of chromosomes in fish, in contrast to in mammals. Genes associated with viviparity show signatures of positive selection, identifying new putative functional domains and rare cases of parallel evolution. We also find that genes implicated in cognition show an unexpectedly high rate of duplicate gene retention after the teleost genome duplication event, suggesting a hypothesis for the evolution of the behavioral complexity in fish, which exceeds that found in amphibians and reptiles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-572
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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