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The Genome of the "Great Speciator" Provides Insights into Bird Diversification

  • Among birds, white-eyes (genusZosterops) have diversified so extensively that Jared Diamond and Ernst Mayr referred to them as the 'great speciator." The Zosterops lineage exhibits some of the fastest rates of species diversification among vertebrates, and its members are the most prolific passerine island colonizers. We present a high-quality genome assembly for the silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), a white-eye species consisting of several subspecies distributed across multiple islands. We investigate the genetic basis of rapid diversification in white-eyes by conducting genomic analyses at varying taxonomic levels. First, we compare the silvereye genome with those of birds from different families and searched for genomic features that may be unique to Zosterops. Second, we compare the genomes of different species of white-eyes from Lifou island (South Pacific), using whole genome resequencing and restriction site associated DNA. Third, we contrast the genomes of two subspecies of silvereye that differ in plumage color. In accordanceAmong birds, white-eyes (genusZosterops) have diversified so extensively that Jared Diamond and Ernst Mayr referred to them as the 'great speciator." The Zosterops lineage exhibits some of the fastest rates of species diversification among vertebrates, and its members are the most prolific passerine island colonizers. We present a high-quality genome assembly for the silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), a white-eye species consisting of several subspecies distributed across multiple islands. We investigate the genetic basis of rapid diversification in white-eyes by conducting genomic analyses at varying taxonomic levels. First, we compare the silvereye genome with those of birds from different families and searched for genomic features that may be unique to Zosterops. Second, we compare the genomes of different species of white-eyes from Lifou island (South Pacific), using whole genome resequencing and restriction site associated DNA. Third, we contrast the genomes of two subspecies of silvereye that differ in plumage color. In accordance with theory, we show that white-eyes have high rates of substitutions, gene duplication, and positive selection relative to other birds. Below genus level, we find that genomic differentiation accumulates rapidly and reveals contrasting demographic histories between sympatric species on Lifou, indicative of past interspecific interactions. Finally, we highlight genes possibly involved in color polymorphism between the subspecies of silvereye. By providing the first whole-genome sequence resources for white-eyes and by conducting analyses at different taxonomic levels, we provide genomic evidence underpinning this extraordinary bird radiation.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Luca Cornetti, Luis M. Valente, Luke T. Dunning, Xueping Quan, Richard A. Black, Olivier Hebert, Vincent Savolainen
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evv168
ISSN:1759-6653 (print)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=26338191
Parent Title (English):Genome biology and evolution
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:demography; gene duplication; genome evolution; morphological divergence; phylogenomics; positive selection
Volume:7
Issue:9
Pagenumber:12
First Page:2680
Last Page:2691
Funder:European Research Council; Marie Curie Actions; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Royal Society (UK)
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access