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Novel insights into chromosome evolution in birds, archosaurs, and reptiles

Farré, M; Narayan, J; Slavov, G T; Damas, J; Auvil, L; Li, C; Jarvis, E D; Burt, D W; Griffin, D K; Larkin, D M


M Farré

J Narayan

G T Slavov

J Damas

L Auvil

C Li

E D Jarvis

D W Burt

D K Griffin

D M Larkin


Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes.


Farré, M., Narayan, J., Slavov, G. T., Damas, J., Auvil, L., Li, C., …Larkin, D. M. (in press). Novel insights into chromosome evolution in birds, archosaurs, and reptiles. Genome Biology and Evolution, 8(8), 2442-2451.

Journal Article Type Letter
Acceptance Date Jul 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2016
Journal Genome Biology and Evolution
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 8
Pages 2442-2451
Public URL


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