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The compact genome of Fugu rubripes has been sequenced to over 95% coverage, and more than 80% of the assembly is in multigene-sized scaffolds. In this 365-megabase vertebrate genome, repetitive DNA accounts for less than one-sixth of the sequence, and gene loci occupy about one-third of the genome. As with the human genome, gene loci are not evenly(More)
BACKGROUND One of the many gene families that expanded in early vertebrate evolution is the neuropeptide (NPY) receptor family of G-protein coupled receptors. Earlier work by our lab suggested that several of the NPY receptor genes found in extant vertebrates resulted from two genome duplications before the origin of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) and one(More)
Cyclostomes, comprising jawless vertebrates such as lampreys and hagfishes, are the sister group of living jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) and hence an important group for understanding the origin and diversity of vertebrates. In vertebrates and other metazoans, Hox genes determine cell fate along the anteroposterior axis of embryos and are implicated in(More)
The discovery of a living coelacanth specimen in 1938 was remarkable, as this lineage of lobe-finned fish was thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The modern coelacanth looks remarkably similar to many of its ancient relatives, and its evolutionary proximity to our own fish ancestors provides a glimpse of the fish that first walked on land.(More)
The emergence of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) from jawless vertebrates was accompanied by major morphological and physiological innovations, such as hinged jaws, paired fins and immunoglobulin-based adaptive immunity. Gnathostomes subsequently diverged into two groups, the cartilaginous fishes and the bony vertebrates. Here we report the whole-genome(More)
Heterogametic sex chromosomes have evolved independently in various lineages of vertebrates. Such sex chromosome pairs often contain nonrecombining regions, with one of the chromosomes harboring a master sex-determining (SD) gene. It is hypothesized that these sex chromosomes evolved from a pair of autosomes that diverged after acquiring the SD gene. By(More)
About 500 million years ago, a new type of adaptive immune defense emerged in basal jawed vertebrates, accompanied by morphological innovations, including the thymus. Did these evolutionary novelties arise de novo or from elaboration of ancient genetic networks? We reconstructed the genetic changes underlying thymopoiesis by comparative genome and(More)
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a highly potent neurotoxin that selectively binds to the outer vestibule of voltage-gated sodium channels. Pufferfishes accumulate extremely high concentrations of TTX without any adverse effect. A nonaromatic amino acid (Asn) residue present in domain I of the pufferfish, Takifugu pardalis, Na v1.4 channel has been implicated in the(More)
Tetrodotoxin (TTX), first isolated from pufferfish (tetraodontids), is a highly potent neurotoxin that selectively binds to voltage-gated sodium channels (Na(v)) in muscle and nerve tissues causing paralysis and death. Saxitoxin (STX) is a TTX-related neurotoxin produced by dinoflagellates. Recent investigations have implicated diverse substitutions in the(More)
BACKGROUND Vasopressin and oxytocin are mammalian neurohypophysial hormones with distinct functions. Vasopressin is involved mainly in osmoregulation and oxytocin is involved primarily in parturition and lactation. Jawed vertebrates contain at least one homolog each of vasopressin and oxytocin, whereas only a vasopressin-family hormone, vasotocin, has been(More)