O DNA de golfinhos e morcegos em sintonia

terça-feira, janeiro 26, 2010

Convergent sequence evolution between echolocating bats and dolphins

Yang Liu1, James A. Cotton2, , Bin Shen1, Xiuqun Han1, Stephen J. Rossiter2, and Shuyi Zhang1,

1 School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
2 School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS, UK


Cases of convergent evolution — where different lineages have evolved similar traits independently — are common and have proven central to our understanding of selection. Yet convincing examples of adaptive convergence at the sequence level are exceptionally rare [1]. The motor protein Prestin is expressed in mammalian outer hair cells (OHCs) and is thought to confer high frequency sensitivity and selectivity in the mammalian auditory system [2]. We previously reported that the Prestin gene has undergone sequence convergence among unrelated lineages of echolocating bat [3]. Here we report that this gene has also undergone convergent amino acid substitutions in echolocating dolphins, which group with echolocating bats in a phylogenetic tree of Prestin. Furthermore, we find evidence that these changes were driven by natural selection.


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