What is it about?
Amphioxus is a invertebrate chordate species, and also the best living proxy for our vertebrate ancestor. We here reconstructed how the extant vertebrate chromosomes originated and evolved from a chromosome configuration similar to that of amphioxus, after two times of whole-genome duplication; and uncovered extraordinary evolutionary stability of how genomes are regulated, and some small-sized micro-chromosomes during the half a billion years of vertebrate divergence.
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Only by comparing to a species that are neither vertebrates nor too divergent, one can tell what defines our vertebrates and what is evolutionarily new or unique. Amphioxus is such a proper species that evolves with unusually low tempo, hence harbors much information for our vertebrate ancestor. By comparing the genomes of amphioxus vs. extant representative vertebrate clades, we can trace and reconstruct the steps that lead to the extant divergent vertebrate genomes.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Three amphioxus reference genomes reveal gene and chromosome evolution of chordates, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2201504120.
You can read the full text:
The following have contributed to this page