Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genomes of peregrine and saker falcons throw lights on evolution of a predatory lifestyle

Date:
March 25, 2013
Source:
BGI Shenzhen
Summary:
Researchers have completed the genome sequencing and analysis of two iconic falcons, the peregrine and saker falcons. The work provides an invaluable resource for the deep understanding of the adaptive evolution in raptors and the genetic basis of their wide distribution.

Peregrine falcon.
Credit: © SunnyS / Fotolia

In a collaborative study published online in Nature Genetics, researchers from Cardiff University, BGI, International Wildlife Consultants, Ltd., and Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, have completed the genome sequencing and analysis of two iconic falcons, the peregrine (Falco peregrinus) and saker (Falco cherrug). The work provides an invaluable resource for the deep understanding of the adaptive evolution in raptors and the genetic basis of their wide distribution.

Related Articles


Peregrine and saker falcons are widespread, and their unique morphological, physiological and behavioral adaptations make them successful hunters. The peregrine is renowned as the world's fastest animal, and the falcon is the national emblem of United Arab Emirate. In recent decades, peregrine and saker falcons have been listed as endangered due to rapid population declines caused by a wide range of factors including environmental change, overharvesting for falconry, habitat loss and bioaccumulation of pesticides (e.g. DDT, PCBs).

In this study, researchers focused on the evolutionary basis of predatory adaptations underlying peregrine and saker. They conducted whole genome sequencing and assembled the high quality ~1.2 Gb reference genomes for each falcon species. Phylogenic analysis suggested that the two falcon species might diverged 2.1 million years ago.

Comparing with chicken and zebra finch, researchers found the transposable element composition of falcons was most similar to that of zebra finch. Large segmental duplications in falcons are less frequent than that in chicken and zebra finch, and comprise less than 1% of both falcon genomes. They also found that a gene expansion in the olfactory receptor γ-c clade in chicken and zebra finch is not present in falcons, possibly reflecting their reliance on vision for locating prey.

Observing genome-wide rapid evolution for both falcons, chicken, zebra finch and turkey, researchers found that the nervous system, olfaction and sodium ion trans-port have evolved rapidly in falcons, and also the evolutionary novelties in beak development related genes of falcons and saker-unique arid-adaptation related genes.

Shengkai Pan, bioinformatics expert from BGI, said, "The two falcon genomes are the first predatory bird genome published. The data presented in this study will advance our understanding of the adaptive evolution of raptors as well as aid the conservation of endangered falcon species."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BGI Shenzhen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiangjiang Zhan, Shengkai Pan, Junyi Wang, Andrew Dixon, Jing He, Margit G Muller, Peixiang Ni, Li Hu, Yuan Liu, Haolong Hou, Yuanping Chen, Jinquan Xia, Qiong Luo, Pengwei Xu, Ying Chen, Shengguang Liao, Changchang Cao, Shukun Gao, Zhaobao Wang, Zhen Yue, Guoqing Li, Ye Yin, Nick C Fox, Jun Wang, Michael W Bruford. Peregrine and saker falcon genome sequences provide insights into evolution of a predatory lifestyle. Nature Genetics, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ng.2588

Cite This Page:

BGI Shenzhen. "Genomes of peregrine and saker falcons throw lights on evolution of a predatory lifestyle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325111216.htm>.
BGI Shenzhen. (2013, March 25). Genomes of peregrine and saker falcons throw lights on evolution of a predatory lifestyle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325111216.htm
BGI Shenzhen. "Genomes of peregrine and saker falcons throw lights on evolution of a predatory lifestyle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325111216.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins