Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution

Welsey C Warren, LaDeana W Hillier, Jennifer A Marshall-Graves, Ewan Birney, Chris P Ponting, Frank Grutzner, Katherine Belov, Webb Miller, Laura Clarke, Asif T Chinwalla, S-P Yang, Andreas Heger, Devin P Locke, Pat Miethke, Paul D Waters, Frederick Veyrunes, Lucinda Fulton, Bob Fulton, Tina Graves, John WallisXose S Puente, Carlos Lopez-Otin, Gonzalo R Ordonez, Evan E Eichler, Lin Chen, Ze Cheng, Janine E Deakin, Amber Alsop, Katherine Thompson, Patrick Kirby, Anthony T Papenfuss, Matthew J Wakefield, Tsviya Olender, Doron Lancet, Gavin A Huttley, Arian FA Smit, Andrew Pask, Peter Derek Mcneill Temple-Smith, Mark A Batzer, Jerilyn A Walker, Mariam K Konkel, Robert S Harris, Camilla M Whittington, Emily SW Wong, Neil J Gemmell, Emmanuel Buschiazzo, Iris M Vargas Jentzsch, Angelika Merkel, Juergen Schmitz, Anja Zemann, Gennady Churakov, Jan Ole Kriegs, Juergen Brosius, Elizabeth P Murchison, Ravi Sachidanandam, Carly Smith, Gregory J Hannon, Enkhjargal Tsend-Ayush, Daniel McMillan, Rosalind Attenborough, Willem Rens, Malcolm Ferguson-Smith, Christophe Marc Lefevre, Julie A Sharp, Kevin R Nicholas, David A Ray, Michael Kube, Richard Reinhardt, Thomas H Pringle, James Taylor, Russell C Jones, Brett Nixon, Jean-Louis Dacheux, Hitoshi Niwa, Yoko Sekita, Xiaoqiu Huang, Alexander Stark, Pouya Kheradpour, Manolis Kellis, Paul Flicek, Yuan Chen, Caleb Webber, Ross Hardison, Joanne Nelson, Kym Hallsworth-Pepin, Kim Delehaunty, Chris Markovic, Pat Minx, Yucheng Feng, Colin Kremitzki, Makedonka Mitreva, Jarret Glasscock, Todd Wylie, Patricia Wohldmann, Prathapan Thiru, Michael N Nhan, Craig S Pohl, Scott M Smith, Shunfeng Hou, Marilyn Renfree, Elaine R Mardis, Richard K Wilson

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501 Citations (Scopus)


We present a draft genome sequence of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. This monotreme exhibits a fascinating combination of reptilian and mammalian characters. For example, platypuses have a coat of fur adapted to an aquatic lifestyle; platypus females lactate, yet lay eggs; and males are equipped with venom similar to that of reptiles. Analysis of the first monotreme genome aligned these features with genetic innovations. We find that reptile and platypus venom proteins have been co-opted independently from the same gene families; milk protein genes are conserved despite platypuses laying eggs; and immune gene family expansions are directly related to platypus biology. Expansions of protein, non-protein-coding RNA and microRNA families, as well as repeat elements, are identified. Sequencing of this genome now provides a valuable resource for deep mammalian comparative analyses, as well as for monotreme biology and conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175 - 183
Number of pages9
Issue number7192
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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