Journal article

Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution

Wesley 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, Shiaw-Pyng Yang, Andreas Heger, Devin P Locke, Pat Miethke, Paul D Waters, Frederic Veyrunes, Lucinda Fulton, Bob Fulton, Tina Graves, John Wallis Show all



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 ..

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