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Coelacanth genome surfaces
Date:4/17/2013

the mechanisms that have contributed to major evolutionary innovations," said Chris Amemiya, a member of the Benaroya Research Institute and co-first author of the Nature paper. Amemiya is also a professor at the University of Washington.

Sequencing the full coelacanth genome was uniquely challenging for many reasons. Coelacanths are an endangered species, meaning that samples available for research are almost nonexistent. This meant that each sample obtained was precious: researchers would have "one shot" at sequencing the collected genetic material, according to Alfldi. But the difficulties in obtaining a sample and the challenges of sequencing it also knit the community together.

"The international nature of the work, its evolutionary value and history, and the fact that it was a technically challenging project really brought people together," said Lindblad-Toh. " We had representatives from every populated continent on earth working on this project."

Although its genome offers some tantalizing answers, the research team anticipates that further study of the fish's immunity, respiration, physiology, and more will lead to deep insights into how some vertebrates adapted to life on land, while others remained creatures of the sea.


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Contact: Haley Bridger
hbridger@broadinstitute.org
617-714-7968
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Source:Eurekalert

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