Rapid evolution of beta-keratin genes contribute to phenotypic differences that distinguish turtles and birds from other reptiles

Li, Yang I., Kong, Lesheng, Ponting, Chris P. and Haerty, Wilfried ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0111-191X (2013) Rapid evolution of beta-keratin genes contribute to phenotypic differences that distinguish turtles and birds from other reptiles. Genome Biology and Evolution, 5 (5). pp. 923-933. ISSN 1759-6653

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Sequencing of vertebrate genomes permits changes in distinct protein families, including gene gains and losses, to be ascribed to lineage-specific phenotypes. A prominent example of this is the large-scale duplication of beta-keratin genes in the ancestors of birds, which was crucial to the subsequent evolution of their beaks, claws, and feathers. Evidence suggests that the shell of Pseudomys nelsoni contains at least 16 beta-keratins proteins, but it is unknown whether this is a complete set and whether their corresponding genes are orthologous to avian beak, claw, or feather beta-keratin genes. To address these issues and to better understand the evolution of the turtle shell at a molecular level, we surveyed the diversity of beta-keratin genes from the genome assemblies of three turtles, Chrysemys picta, Pelodiscus sinensis, and Chelonia mydas, which together represent over 160 Myr of chelonian evolution. For these three turtles, we found 200 beta-keratins, which indicate that, as for birds, a large expansion of beta-keratin genes in turtles occurred concomitantly with the evolution of a unique phenotype, namely, their plastron and carapace. Phylogenetic reconstruction of beta-keratin gene evolution suggests that separate waves of gene duplication within a single genomic location gave rise to scales, claws, and feathers in birds, and independently the scutes of the shell in turtles.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: beta-keratins,gene duplication,sauropsids,turtle shell,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics,genetics ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Norwich Institute for Healthy Aging
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2022 14:30
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 01:13
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/88329
DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evt060

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