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Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion(More)
The nonhuman primates most commonly used in medical research are from the genus Macaca. To better understand the genetic differences between these animal models, we present high-quality draft genome sequences from two macaque species, the cynomolgus/crab-eating macaque and the Chinese rhesus macaque. Comparison with the previously sequenced Indian rhesus(More)
Although eusociality evolved independently within several orders of insects, research into the molecular underpinnings of the transition towards social complexity has been confined primarily to Hymenoptera (for example, ants and bees). Here we sequence the genome and stage-specific transcriptomes of the dampwood termite Zootermopsis nevadensis (Blattodea)(More)
The geographic origins of breeds and the genetic basis of variation within the widely distributed and phenotypically diverse domestic rock pigeon (Columba livia) remain largely unknown. We generated a rock pigeon reference genome and additional genome sequences representing domestic and feral populations. We found evidence for the origins of major breed(More)
Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosis have remained enigmatic. We obtained high-quality annotated(More)
Vertebrate skin appendages are constructed of keratins produced by multigene families. Alpha (α) keratins are found in all vertebrates, while beta (β) keratins are found exclusively in reptiles and birds. We have studied the molecular evolution of these gene families in the genomes of 48 phylogenetically diverse birds and their expression in the scales and(More)
BACKGROUND Penguins are flightless aquatic birds widely distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The distinctive morphological and physiological features of penguins allow them to live an aquatic life, and some of them have successfully adapted to the hostile environments in Antarctica. To study the phylogenetic and population history of penguins and the(More)
We present a high-quality (>100× depth) Illumina genome sequence of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, a model species for symbiosis and reproductive conflict studies. We compare this genome with three previously sequenced genomes of ants from different subfamilies and focus our analyses on aspects of the genome likely to be associated with known(More)
In this study, we present a new method for evaluating animal evolutionary relationships. We used the GC% levels of genome-wide genes to determine the correlation between the GC% content and evolutionary relationship. The correlation coefficients of the GC% content of the orthologous genes of the paired animal species were calculated for a total of 21(More)
Social insects are important models for social evolution and behavior. However, in many species, experimental control over important factors that regulate division of labor, such as genotype and age, is limited. Furthermore, most species have fixed queen and worker castes, making it difficult to establish causality between the molecular mechanisms that(More)