Malcolm Andrew Ferguson-Smith

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BACKGROUND We present the genome sequence of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, which is a member of the kangaroo family and the first representative of the iconic hopping mammals that symbolize Australia to be sequenced. The tammar has many unusual biological characteristics, including the longest period of embryonic diapause of any mammal, extremely(More)
In therian mammals (placentals and marsupials), sex is determined by an XX female: XY male system, in which a gene (SRY) on the Y affects male determination. There is no equivalent in other amniotes, although some taxa (notably birds and snakes) have differentiated sex chromosomes. Birds have a ZW female: ZZ male system with no homology with mammal sex(More)
BACKGROUND Gymnotus (Gymnotidae, Gymnotiformes) is the Neotropical electric fish genus with the largest geographic distribution and the largest number of species, 33 of which have been validated. The diploid number varies from 2n = 39-40 to 2n = 54. Recently we studied the karyotype of morphologically indistinguishable samples from five populations of G.(More)
We present a draft genome sequence of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. This monotreme exhibits a fascinating combination of reptilian and mammalian characters. For example, platypuses have a coat of fur adapted to an aquatic lifestyle; platypus females lactate, yet lay eggs; and males are equipped with venom similar to that of reptiles. Analysis of(More)
Anoles are a clade of iguanian lizards that underwent an extensive radiation between 125 and 65 million years ago. Their karyotypes show wide variation in diploid number spanning from 26 (Anolis evermanni) to 44 (A. insolitus). This chromosomal variation involves their sex chromosomes, ranging from simple systems (XX/XY), with heterochromosomes represented(More)
Two centuries after the duck-billed platypus was discovered, monotreme chromosome systems remain deeply puzzling. Karyotypes of males, or of both sexes, were claimed to contain several unpaired chromosomes (including the X chromosome) that form a multi-chromosomal chain at meiosis. Such meiotic chains exist in plants and insects but are rare in vertebrates.(More)
BACKGROUND Sex-determining systems have evolved independently in vertebrates. Placental mammals and marsupials have an XY system, birds have a ZW system. Reptiles and amphibians have different systems, including temperature-dependent sex determination, and XY and ZW systems that differ in origin from birds and placental mammals. Monotremes diverged early in(More)
Most eukaryotic species represent stable karyotypes with a particular diploid number. B chromosomes are additional to standard karyotypes and may vary in size, number and morphology even between cells of the same individual. For many years it was generally believed that B chromosomes found in some plant, animal and fungi species lacked active genes.(More)
Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) is a fatal, transmissible malignancy that threatens the world's largest marsupial carnivore, the Tasmanian devil, with extinction. First recognised in 1996, DFTD has had a catastrophic effect on wild devil numbers, and intense research efforts to understand and contain the disease have since demonstrated that the tumour is(More)
BACKGROUND The evolution of genomic imprinting, the parental-origin specific expression of genes, is the subject of much debate. There are several theories to account for how the mechanism evolved including the hypothesis that it was driven by the evolution of X-inactivation, or that it arose from an ancestrally imprinted chromosome. RESULTS Here we(More)