Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

215 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Huiguang Wu
  • Xuanmin Guang
  • Mohamed B. Al-Fageeh
  • Junwei Cao
  • Shengkai Pan
  • Huanmin Zhou
  • Li Zhang
  • Mohammed H. Abutarboush
  • Yanping Xing
  • Zhiyuan Xie
  • Ali S. Alshanqeeti
  • Yanru Zhang
  • Qiulin Yao
  • Badr M. Al-Shomrani
  • Dong Zhang
  • Jiang Li
  • Manee M. Manee
  • Zili Yang
  • Linfeng Yang
  • Yiyi Liu
  • Musaad A. Altammami
  • Shenyuan Wang
  • Lili Yu
  • Wenbin Zhang
  • Sanyang Liu
  • La Ba
  • Chunxia Liu
  • Xukui Yang
  • Fanhua Meng
  • Shaowei Wang
  • Lu Li
  • Erli Li
  • Xueqiong Li
  • Kaifeng Wu
  • Shu Zhang
  • Junyi Wang
  • Ye Yin
  • Huanming Yang
  • Abdulaziz M. Al-Swailem
  • Jun Wang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number5188
Journal / PublicationNature Communications
Volume5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos) are economically important livestock. Although the Bactrian camel and dromedary are large, typically arid-desert-adapted mammals, alpacas are adapted to plateaus. Here we present high-quality genome sequences of these three species. Our analysis reveals the demographic history of these species since the Tortonian Stage of the Miocene and uncovers a striking correlation between large fluctuations in population size and geological time boundaries. Comparative genomic analysis reveals complex features related to desert adaptations, including fat and water metabolism, stress responses to heat, aridity, intense ultraviolet radiation and choking dust. Transcriptomic analysis of Bactrian camels further reveals unique osmoregulation, osmoprotection and compensatory mechanisms for water reservation underpinned by high blood glucose levels. We hypothesize that these physiological mechanisms represent kidney evolutionary adaptations to the desert environment. This study advances our understanding of camelid evolution and the adaptation of camels to arid-desert environments.

Bibliographic Note

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Citation Format(s)

Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments. / Wu, Huiguang; Guang, Xuanmin; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B. et al.
In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 5188, 21.10.2014.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review