Genome of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica reveals innovation in non-coding sequences
We report a high-quality draft of the genome sequence of the grey, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). As the first metatherian ('marsupial') species to be sequenced, the opossum provides a unique perspective on the organization and evolution of mammalian genomes. Distinctive features of the opossum chromosomes provide support for recent theories about genome evolution and function, including a strong influence of biased gene conversion on nucleotide sequence composition, and a relationship between chromosomal characteristics and X chromosome inactivation. Comparison of opossum and eutherian genomes also reveals a sharp difference in evolutionary innovation between protein-coding and non-coding functional elements. True innovation in protein-coding genes seems to be relatively rare, with lineage-specific differences being largely due to diversification and rapid turnover in gene families involved in environmental interactions. In contrast, about 20% of eutherian conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) are recent inventions that postdate the divergence of Eutheria and Metatheria. A substantial proportion of these eutherian-specific CNEs arose from sequence inserted by transposable elements, pointing to transposons as a major creative force in the evolution of mammalian gene regulation. ©2007 Nature Publishing Group.
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Mikkelsen, T., Wakefield, M., Aken, B., Amemiya, C., Chang, J., Duke, S., Garber, M., Gentles, A., Goodstadt, L., Heger, A., Jurka, J., Kamal, M., Mauceli, E., Searle, S., Sharpe, T., Baker, M., Batzer, M., Benos, P., Belov, K., Clamp, M., Cook, A., Cuff, J., Das, R., Davidow, L., Deakin, J., Fazzari, M., Glass, J., Grabherr, M., Greally, J., Gu, W., Hore, T., Huttley, G., Kleber, M., & Jirtle, R. (2007). Genome of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica reveals innovation in non-coding sequences. Nature, 447 (7141), 167-177. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05805