Convergent evolution of marine mammals is associated with distinct substitutions in common genes

Zhou, Xuming, Seim, Inge, & Gladyshev, Vadim N. (2015) Convergent evolution of marine mammals is associated with distinct substitutions in common genes. Scientific Reports, 5, 16550-(1.

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Phenotypic convergence is thought to be driven by parallel substitutions coupled with natural selection at the sequence level. Multiple independent evolutionary transitions of mammals to an aquatic environment offer an opportunity to test this thesis. Here, whole genome alignment of coding sequences identified widespread parallel amino acid substitutions in marine mammals; however, the majority of these changes were not unique to these animals. Conversely, we report that candidate aquatic adaptation genes, identified by signatures of likelihood convergence and/or elevated ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution rate, are characterized by very few parallel substitutions and exhibit distinct sequence changes in each group. Moreover, no significant positive correlation was found between likelihood convergence and positive selection in all three marine lineages. These results suggest that convergence in protein coding genes associated with aquatic lifestyle is mainly characterized by independent substitutions and relaxed negative selection.

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2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 90117
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: marine mammals, genomics, genetics, convergent evolution, comparative biology
DOI: 10.1038/srep16550
ISSN: 2045-2322
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
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Deposited On: 10 Nov 2015 23:42
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2015 22:07

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