September 22, 2019  |  

Biology and genome of a newly discovered sibling species of Caenorhabditis elegans.

Authors: Kanzaki, Natsumi and Tsai, Isheng J and Tanaka, Ryusei and Hunt, Vicky L and Liu, Dang and Tsuyama, Kenji and Maeda, Yasunobu and Namai, Satoshi and Kumagai, Ryohei and Tracey, Alan and Holroyd, Nancy and Doyle, Stephen R and Woodruff, Gavin C and Murase, Kazunori and Kitazume, Hiromi and Chai, Cynthia and Akagi, Allison and Panda, Oishika and Ke, Huei-Mien and Schroeder, Frank C and Wang, John and Berriman, Matthew and Sternberg, Paul W and Sugimoto, Asako and Kikuchi, Taisei

A 'sibling' species of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has long been sought for use in comparative analyses that would enable deep evolutionary interpretations of biological phenomena. Here, we describe the first sibling species of C. elegans, C. inopinata n. sp., isolated from fig syconia in Okinawa, Japan. We investigate the morphology, developmental processes and behaviour of C. inopinata, which differ significantly from those of C. elegans. The 123-Mb C. inopinata genome was sequenced and assembled into six nuclear chromosomes, allowing delineation of Caenorhabditis genome evolution and revealing unique characteristics, such as highly expanded transposable elements that might have contributed to the genome evolution of C. inopinata. In addition, C. inopinata exhibits massive gene losses in chemoreceptor gene families, which could be correlated with its limited habitat area. We have developed genetic and molecular techniques for C. inopinata; thus C. inopinata provides an exciting new platform for comparative evolutionary studies.

Journal: Nature communications
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05712-5
Year: 2018

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