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  current news   Press   selected story    
     
  5 December 2014  
  Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes
 
 




Authors
XinxinYou1,2,14, Chao Bian1,2,14, Qijie Zan3,14, Xun Xu2,14, Xin Liu2, Jieming Chen1,2, Jintu Wang2, Ying Qiu1,2, Wujiao Li1, Xinhui Zhang1,2, Ying Sun2, Shixi Chen4, Wanshu Hong4, Yuxiang Li2, Shifeng Cheng2, Guangyi Fan2, Chengcheng Shi2, Jie Liang2, Y. Tom Tang2, Chengye Yang2, Zhiqiang Ruan1,2, Jie Bai1,2, Chao Peng1,2, Qian Mu2, Jun Lu2,5, Mingjun Fan6, Shuang Yang2,6, Zhiyong Huang2, Xuanting Jiang2, Xiaodong Fang2, Guojie Zhang2, Yong Zhang2, Gianluca Polgar7, Hui Yu1,2, Jia Li1,2, Zhongjian Liu8, Guoqiang Zhang8 , Vydianathan Ravi9, Steven L. Coon10 , Jian Wang2,11, Huanming Yang2,11,12, Byrappa Venkatesh9,14, Jun Wang2,12,13,14 & Qiong Shi1,2,3,6,14

1  Shenzhen Key Lab of Marine Genomics, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Genomics, Shenzhen    518083, China
2  BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518083, China.
3  Shenzhen Wild Animal Rescue Center, Shenzhen 518040, China.
4  College of Ocean and Earth, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.
5  Shenzhen BGI Fisheries Sci & Tech Co. Ltd., Shenzhen 518083, China.
6  Center for Fish Genomics, BGI-Wuhan, Wuhan 430075, China.
7  Environmental and Life Sciences Programme, Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jln    Tungku Link, BE1410, Brunei Darussalam.
8  Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Orchid Conservation and Utilization of the Orchid Conservation and    Research Center of Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518114, China.
9  Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Biopolis, Singapore 138673.
10  Molecular Genomics Laboratory, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
11  James D. Watson Institute of Genome Science, Hangzhou 310008, China
12  Princess Al Jawhara Center of Excellence in the Research of Hereditary Disorders, King Abdulaziz     University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
13  Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.

14  These authors contributed equally to this work. 

Published in Nature Communications on 2 December 2014.

To read the article, click here.

Blue-spotted mudskippers frolicking on the intertidal mudflat.
(Photo courtesy: Chun-Keung Ching)
"One foot in the sea, and one on shore, To one thing constant never"
Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare

Abstract
Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers (blue-spotted mudskipper, blue mudskipper, giant mudskipper and giant-fin mudskipper) to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defense against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers’ tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision-related genes are differentially lost or mutated, illustrating genomic changes associated with aerial vision. Transcriptomic analyses of mudskippers exposed to air highlight regulatory pathways that are up- or down-regulated in response to hypoxia. The present study provides a valuable resource for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying water-to-land transition of vertebrates.

Genomes of mudskippers. Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that can spend several hours on land looking for food, mate, burrows for laying eggs, etc. Genomes of four species of mudskippers that inhabit different strata of the intertidal zone and exhibit different degrees of affinity to terrestrial life were sequenced and compared with genomes of typical aquatic fishes.

For more information on BV's laboratory, click here.