Minke whale genome and aquatic adaptation in cetaceans

TitleMinke whale genome and aquatic adaptation in cetaceans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsYim H.S, Cho Y.S, Guang X.M, Kang S.G, Jeong J.Y, Cha S.S, Oh H.M, Lee J.H, Yang E.C, Kwon K.K, Kim Y.J, Kim T.W, Kim W., Jeon J.H, Kim S.J, Choi D.H, Jho S., Kim H.M, Ko J., Kim H, Shin Y.A, Jung H.J, Zheng Y., Wang Z, Chen Y., Chen M., Jiang A.W, Li E.L, Zhang S., Hou H.L, Kim T.H, Yu L.L, Liu S, Ahn K., Cooper J., Park S.G, Hong C.P, Jin W., Kim H.S, Park C., Lee K., Chun S., Morin PA, O'Brien S.J, Lee H., Kimura J., Moon D.Y, Manica A., Edwards J., Kim B.C, Kim S, Wang J., Bhak J., Lee H.S, Lee J.H
JournalNature Genetics
Date Published2014/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1061-4036
Accession NumberWOS:000329113500019
Keywordsalignment; database; genes; identification; maximum-likelihood; protein families; rna-seq; sequences; stress; tursiops-truncatus

The shift from terrestrial to aquatic life by whales was a substantial evolutionary event. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing and de novo assembly of the minke whale genome, as well as the whole-genome sequences of three minke whales, a fin whale, a bottlenose dolphin and a finless porpoise. Our comparative genomic analysis identified an expansion in the whale lineage of gene families associated with stress-responsive proteins and anaerobic metabolism, whereas gene families related to body hair and sensory receptors were contracted. Our analysis also identified whale-specific mutations in genes encoding antioxidants and enzymes controlling blood pressure and salt concentration. Overall the whale-genome sequences exhibited distinct features that are associated with the physiological and morphological changes needed for life in an aquatic environment, marked by resistance to physiological stresses caused by a lack of oxygen, increased amounts of reactive oxygen species and high salt levels.

Short TitleNature Genet.
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