Genome of the Komodo dragon reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards

Lind, Abigail L., Lai, Yvonne Y. Y., Mostovoy, Yulia, Holloway, Alisha K., Iannucci, Alessio, Mak, Angel C. Y., Fondi, Marco, Orlandini, Valerio, Eckalbar, Walter L., Milan, Massimo, Rovatsos, Michail, Kichigin, Ilya G., Makunin, Alex I., Johnson Pokorná, Martina, Altmanová, Marie, Trifonov, Vladimir A., Schijlen, Elio, Kratochvíl, Lukáš, Fani, Renato, Velenský, Petr, Rehák, Ivan, Patarnello, Tomaso, Jessop, Tim S., Hicks, James W., Ryder, Oliver A., Mendelson, Joseph R., Ciofi, Claudio, Kwok, Pui-Yan, Pollard, Katherine S. and Bruneau, Benoit G. 2019, Genome of the Komodo dragon reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards, Nature ecology and evolution, vol. 3, no. 8, pp. 1241-1252, doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0945-8.

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Title Genome of the Komodo dragon reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards
Author(s) Lind, Abigail L.
Lai, Yvonne Y. Y.
Mostovoy, Yulia
Holloway, Alisha K.
Iannucci, Alessio
Mak, Angel C. Y.
Fondi, Marco
Orlandini, Valerio
Eckalbar, Walter L.
Milan, Massimo
Rovatsos, Michail
Kichigin, Ilya G.
Makunin, Alex I.
Johnson Pokorná, Martina
Altmanová, Marie
Trifonov, Vladimir A.
Schijlen, Elio
Kratochvíl, Lukáš
Fani, Renato
Velenský, Petr
Rehák, Ivan
Patarnello, Tomaso
Jessop, Tim S.ORCID iD for Jessop, Tim S.
Hicks, James W.
Ryder, Oliver A.
Mendelson, Joseph R.
Ciofi, Claudio
Kwok, Pui-Yan
Pollard, Katherine S.
Bruneau, Benoit G.
Journal name Nature ecology and evolution
Volume number 3
Issue number 8
Start page 1241
End page 1252
Total pages 14
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2019
ISSN 2397-334X
Summary Monitor lizards are unique among ectothermic reptiles in that they have high aerobic capacity and distinctive cardiovascular physiology resembling that of endothermic mammals. Here, we sequence the genome of the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis, the largest extant monitor lizard, and generate a high-resolution de novo chromosome-assigned genome assembly for V. komodoensis using a hybrid approach of long-range sequencing and single-molecule optical mapping. Comparing the genome of V. komodoensis with those of related species, we find evidence of positive selection in pathways related to energy metabolism, cardiovascular homoeostasis, and haemostasis. We also show species-specific expansions of a chemoreceptor gene family related to pheromone and kairomone sensing in V. komodoensis and other lizard lineages. Together, these evolutionary signatures of adaptation reveal the genetic underpinnings of the unique Komodo dragon sensory and cardiovascular systems, and suggest that selective pressure altered haemostasis genes to help Komodo dragons evade the anticoagulant effects of their own saliva. The Komodo dragon genome is an important resource for understanding the biology of monitor lizards and reptiles worldwide.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/s41559-019-0945-8
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2019, The Authors
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