Publication

Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation.

Science. 2014 Dec 12;346(6215):1311-20. doi: 10.1126/science.1251385. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Abstract

Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits.

Authors

Zhang G, Li C, Li Q, Li B, Larkin DM, Lee C, Storz JF, Antunes A, Greenwold MJ, Meredith RW, Odeen A, Cui J, Zhou Q, Xu L, Pan H, Wang Z, Jin L, Zhang P, Hu H, Yang W, Hu J, Xiao J, Yang Z, Liu Y, Xie Q, Yu H, Lian J, Wen P, Zhang F, Li H, Zeng Y, Xiong Z, Liu S, Zhou L, Huang Z, An N, Wang J, Zheng Q, Xiong Y, Wang G, Wang B, Wang J, Fan Y, da Fonseca RR, Alfaro-Nunez A, Schubert M, Orlando L, Mourier T, Howard JT1, Ganapathy G, Pfenning A, Whitney O, Rivas MV, Hara E, Smith J, Farre M, Narayan J, Slavov G, Romanov MN, Borges R, Machado JP, Khan I, Springer MS, Gatesy J, Hoffmann FG, Opazo JC, Hastad O, Sawyer RH, Kim H, Kim KW, Kim HJ, Cho S, Li N, Huang Y, Bruford MW, Zhan X, Dixon A, Bertelsen MF, Derryberry E, Warren W, Wilson RK, Li S, Ray DA, Green RE, O'Brien SJ, Griffin D, Johnson WE, Haussler D, Ryder OA, Willerslev E, Graves GR, Alstrom P, Fjeldsa J, Mindell DP, Edwards SV, Braun EL, Rahbek C, Burt DW, Houde P, Zhang Y, Yang H, Wang J; Avian Genome Consortium, Jarvis ED, Gilbert MT, Wang J.