Minke Whale Genome and Aquatic Adaptation in Cetaceans
The shift from terrestrial to aquatic life by whales was a substantial evolutionary event. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing and de novo assembly of the minke whale genome, as well as the whole-genome sequences of three minke whales, a fin whale, a bottlenose dolphin and a finless porpoise. Our comparative genomic analysis identified an expansion in the whale lineage of gene families associated with stress-responsive proteins and anaerobic metabolism, whereas gene families related to body hair and sensory receptors were contracted. Our analysis also identified whale-specific mutations in genes encoding antioxidants and enzymes controlling blood pressure and salt concentration. Overall the whale-genome sequences exhibited distinct features that are associated with the physiological and morphological changes needed for life in an aquatic environment, marked by resistance to physiological stresses caused by a lack of oxygen, increased amounts of reactive oxygen species and high salt levels.
Yim, Hyung-Soon; Yun Sung Cho; Xuanmin Guang; Sung Gyun Kang; Jae-Yeon Jeong; Sun-Shin Cha; Hyun-Myung Oh; Jae-Hak Lee; Eun Chan Yang; Kae Kyoung Kwon; Yun Jae Kim; Tae Wan Kim; Wonduck Kim; Jeong Ho Jeon; Sang-Jin Kim; Dong Han Choi; Sungwoong Jho; Hak-Min Kim; Junsu Ko; Hyunmin Kim; Young-Ah Shin; Hyun-Ju Jung; Yuan Zheng; Zhuo Wang; Yan Chen; Ming Chen; Awei Jiang; Erli Li; Shu Zhang; Haolong Hou; Tae Hyung Kim; Lili Yu; Sha Liu; Kung Ahn; Jesse Cooper; Sing-Gi Park; Chang Pyo Hong; Wook Jin; Heui-Soo Kim; Chankyu Park; Kyooyeol Lee; Sung Chun; Phillip A. Morin; Stephen J. O'Brien; Hang Lee; Jumpei Kimura; Dae Yeon Moon; Andrea Manica; Jeremy Edwards; Byung Chul Kim; Sangsoo Kim; Jun Wang; Jong Bhak; Hyun Sook Lee; and Jung-Hyun Lee. 2014. "Minke Whale Genome and Aquatic Adaptation in Cetaceans." Nature Genetics 46, (1): 88-92. http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cnso_bio_facarticles/427