Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes


Lucia Carbone, Oregon Health & Science University
R. Alan Harris, Baylor College of Medicine
Sante Gnerre, Nabsys
Krishna R. Veeramah, The University of Arizona
Belen Lorente-Galdos, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona
John Huddleston, University of Washington, Seattle
Thomas J. Meyer, Oregon Health & Science University
Javier Herrero, European Bioinformatics Institute
Christian Roos, Deutsches Primatenzentrum
Bronwen Aken, European Bioinformatics Institute
Fabio Anaclerio, Università degli Studi di Bari
Nicoletta Archidiacono, Università degli Studi di Bari
Carl Baker, University of Washington, Seattle
Daniel Barrell, European Bioinformatics Institute
Mark A. Batzer, Louisiana State University
Kathryn Beal, European Bioinformatics Institute
Antoine Blancher, Universite Paul Sabatier Toulouse III
Craig L. Bohrson, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Markus Brameier, Deutsches Primatenzentrum
Michael S. Campbell, The University of Utah
Oronzo Capozzi, Università degli Studi di Bari
Claudio Casola, Texas A&M University
Giorgia Chiatante, Università degli Studi di Bari
Andrew Cree, Baylor College of Medicine
Annette Damert, Universitatea Babes-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca
Pieter J. De Jong, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute
Laura Dumas, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Marcos Fernandez-Callejo, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona
Paul Flicek, European Bioinformatics Institute
Nina V. Fuchs, Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine
Ivo Gut, Universitat de Barcelona
Marta Gut, Universitat de Barcelona
Matthew W. Hahn, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
Jessica Hernandez-Rodriguez, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona

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©2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Gibbons are small arboreal apes that display an accelerated rate of evolutionary chromosomal rearrangement and occupy a key node in the primate phylogeny between Old World monkeys and great apes. Here we present the assembly and analysis of a northern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) genome. We describe the propensity for a gibbon-specific retrotransposon (LAVA) to insert into chromosome segregation genes and alter transcription by providing a premature termination site, suggesting a possible molecular mechanism for the genome plasticity of the gibbon lineage. We further show that the gibbon genera (Nomascus, Hylobates, Hoolock and Symphalangus) experienced a near-instantaneous radiation ∼5 million years ago, coincident with major geographical changes in southeast Asia that caused cycles of habitat compression and expansion. Finally, we identify signatures of positive selection in genes important for forelimb development (TBX5) and connective tissues (COL1A1) that may have been involved in the adaptation of gibbons to their arboreal habitat.

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