Wednesday, November 13, 2013

[Ichthyology / Genome • 2013] The African Coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae Genome provides insights into Tetrapod Evolution

An African coelacanth and diver photographed by Laurent Ballesta in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. The African Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) attracted international attention when a specimen was netted off the South African coast in 1938, as coelacanths were thought to have gone extinct 70 million years ago. Now its genome has been sequenced. Phylogenomic analysis resolves the long-standing question of which lobe-finned fish is the closest living relative of the land vertebrates — it is the lungfish, and not the coelacanth. The protein-coding genes of the coelacanth are slowly evolving, which perhaps explains how similar today’s coelacanth looks to its 300-million-year-old fossil ancestors. Examination of changes in genes and regulatory elements shows the importance of factors including brain and fin development, immunity and nitrogen excretion in the adaptation of vertebrates to land. Cover: Laurent Ballesta/Andromède Collection

The African Coelacanth Genome 
provides insights into Tetrapod Evolution

Chris T. Amemiya, Jessica Alföldi, Alison P. Lee, Shaohua Fan, Hervé Philippe, Iain MacCallum, Ingo Braasch, Tereza Manousaki, Igor Schneider, Nicolas Rohner, Chris Organ, Domitille Chalopin,  Jeramiah J. Smith, Mark Robinson, Rosemary A. Dorrington, Marco Gerdol, Bronwen Aken, Maria Assunta Biscotti,  Marco Barucca,  Denis Baurain, Aaron M. Berlin, Gregory L. Blatch, Francesco Buonocore, Thorsten Burmester and Michael S. Campbell. 2013.  The African Coelacanth Genome provides insights into Tetrapod Evolution. Nature. 496: 311-316. doi: