Cetaceans evolution: Insights from the genome sequences of common minke whales

Jung Youn Park, Yong Rock An, Naohisa Kanda, Chul Min An, Hye Suck An, Jung Ha Kang, Eun Mi Kim, Du Hae An, Hojin Jung, Myunghee Joung, Myung Hum Park, Sook Hee Yoon, Bo Young Lee, Taeheon Lee, Kyu Won Kim, Won Cheoul Park, Dong Hyun Shin, Young Sub Lee, Jaemin Kim, Woori KwakHyeon Jeong Kim, Young Jun Kwon, Sunjin Moon, Yuseob Kim, David W. Burt, Seoae Cho, Heebal Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Whales have captivated the human imagination for millennia. These incredible cetaceans are the only mammals that have adapted to life in the open oceans and have been a source of human food, fuel and tools around the globe. The transition from land to water has led to various aquatic specializations related to hairless skin and ability to regulate their body temperature in cold water. Results: We present four common minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) genomes with depth of ×13 ~ ×17 coverage and perform resequencing technology without a reference sequence. Our results indicated the time to the most recent common ancestors of common minke whales to be about 2.3574 (95% HPD, 1.1521 - 3.9212) million years ago. Further, we found that genes associated with epilation and tooth-development showed signatures of positive selection, supporting the morphological uniqueness of whales. Conclusions: This whole-genome sequencing offers a chance to better understand the evolutionary journey of one of the largest mammals on earth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Cetaceans
  • Common minke whale
  • Genome
  • Positive selection

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