De novo sequencing, assembly and analysis of eight different transcriptomes from the Malayan pangolin

Aini Mohamed Yusoff, Tze King Tan, Ranjeev Hari, Klaus Peter Koepfli, Wei Yee Wee, Agostinho Antunes, Frankie Thomas Sitam, Jeffrine Japning Rovie-Ryan, Kayal Vizi Karuppannan, Guat Jah Wong, Leonard Lipovich, Wesley C. Warren, Stephen J. O'Brien, Siew Woh Choo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Pangolins are scale-covered mammals, containing eight endangered species. Maintaining pangolins in captivity is a significant challenge, in part because little is known about their genetics. Here we provide the first large-scale sequencing of the critically endangered Manis javanica transcriptomes from eight different organs using Illumina HiSeq technology, yielding ∼75 Giga bases and 89,754 unigenes. We found some unigenes involved in the insect hormone biosynthesis pathway and also 747 lipids metabolism-related unigenes that may be insightful to understand the lipid metabolism system in pangolins. Comparative analysis between M. javanica and other mammals revealed many pangolin-specific genes significantly over-represented in stress-related processes, cell proliferation and external stimulus, probably reflecting the traits and adaptations of the analyzed pregnant female M. javanica. Our study provides an invaluable resource for future functional works that may be highly relevant for the conservation of pangolins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28199
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

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