Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Whole-genome sequencing uncovers the mysteries of the endangered Chinese alligator

Date:
August 9, 2013
Source:
BGI Shenzhen
Summary:
Scientists have completed the genome sequencing and analysis of the endangered Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). This is the first published crocodilian genome, providing a good explanation of how terrestrial-style reptiles adapt to aquatic environments and temperature-dependent sex determination.

In a study published in Cell Research, Chinese scientists from Zhejiang University and BGI have completed the genome sequencing and analysis of the endangered Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). This is the first published crocodilian genome, providing a good explanation of how terrestrial-style reptiles adapt to aquatic environments and temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD).

The Chinese alligator is a member of the alligator family that lives in China. It is critically endangered with a population of ~100 wild and ~10,000 captive individuals in Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces. Great efforts have been put into uncovering the mysteries of this species because of its unique features that allow them being adapted for living in both water and land habitats.

In this study, researchers collected a Chinese alligator sample from Changxing Yinjiabian Chinese Alligator Nature Reserve (Zhejiang Province, China) and sequenced its genome using a whole-genome shotgun strategy. The genomic data yielded a draft sequence of Chinese alligator with the size of 2.3 Gb, and a total of 22,200 genes were predicted.

The genomic data provides a strong evidence from DNA level to illustrate why Chinese alligator can hold its breath under water for long periods of time, such as the duplication of the bicarbonate-binding hemoglobin gene, positively selected energy metabolism, and others. Researchers further identified the genetic signatures of the powerful sensory system and immune system of Chinese alligator. All the results presented evidence for co-evolution of multiple systems specific to the back-to-the water transition.

Chinese alligator exhibits TSD, and does not possess sex chromosomes. The absence of sex chromosomes is another interesting feature. In this study, researchers analyzed the evolutionary mechanism of sex chromosomes, and reported that the alligator was the first TSD species whose genome has been sequenced, which will have great implication in resolving sex chromosome evolution.

Shengkai Pan, Project manager from BGI, said, "The accomplishment of the Chinese alligator genome is significant for understanding its adaptation for both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and more importantly, for the conservation of such an endangered 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. Qiu-Hong Wan, Sheng-Kai Pan, Li Hu, Ying Zhu, Peng-Wei Xu, Jin-Quan Xia, Hui Chen, Gen-Yun He, Jing He, Xiao-Wei Ni, Hao-Long Hou, Sheng-Guang Liao, Hai-Qiong Yang, Ying Chen, Shu-Kun Gao, Yun-Fa Ge, Chang-Chang Cao, Peng-Fei Li, Li-Ming Fang, Li Liao, Shu Zhang, Meng-Zhen Wang, Wei Dong, Sheng-Guo Fang. Genome analysis and signature discovery for diving and sensory properties of the endangered Chinese alligator. Cell Research, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/cr.2013.104

Cite This Page:

BGI Shenzhen. "Whole-genome sequencing uncovers the mysteries of the endangered Chinese alligator." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130809115052.htm>.
BGI Shenzhen. (2013, August 9). Whole-genome sequencing uncovers the mysteries of the endangered Chinese alligator. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130809115052.htm
BGI Shenzhen. "Whole-genome sequencing uncovers the mysteries of the endangered Chinese alligator." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130809115052.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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