Genome sequence of the basal haplorrhine primate Tarsius syrichta reveals unusual insertions.

Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 6;7:12997. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12997.


Tarsiers are phylogenetically located between the most basal strepsirrhines and the most derived anthropoid primates. While they share morphological features with both groups, they also possess uncommon primate characteristics, rendering their evolutionary history somewhat obscure. To investigate the molecular basis of such attributes, we present here a new genome assembly of the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), and provide extended analyses of the genome and detailed history of transposable element insertion events. We describe the silencing of Alu monomers on the lineage leading to anthropoids, and recognize an unexpected abundance of long terminal repeat-derived and LINE1-mobilized transposed elements (Tarsius interspersed elements; TINEs). For the first time in mammals, we identify a complete mitochondrial genome insertion within the nuclear genome, then reveal tarsier-specific, positive gene selection and posit population size changes over time. The genomic resources and analyses presented here will aid efforts to more fully understand the ancient characteristics of primate genomes.


Minx P, Montague MJ, Wilson RK, Warren WC

Institute Authors

Wes Warren, Ph.D., Patrick Minx