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We present a draft genome sequence of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. This monotreme exhibits a fascinating combination of reptilian and mammalian characters. For example, platypuses have a coat of fur adapted to an aquatic lifestyle; platypus females lactate, yet lay eggs; and males are equipped with venom similar to that of reptiles. Analysis of the first monotreme genome aligned these features with genetic innovations. We find that reptile and platypus venom proteins have been co-opted independently from the same gene families; milk protein genes are conserved despite platypuses laying eggs; and immune gene family expansions are directly related to platypus biology. Expansions of protein, non-protein-coding RNA and microRNA families, as well as repeat elements, are identified. Sequencing of this genome now provides a valuable resource for deep mammalian comparative analyses, as well as for monotreme biology and conservation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nature06936

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature

Publication Date

08/05/2008

Volume

453

Pages

175 - 183

Keywords

Animals, Base Composition, Dentition, Evolution, Molecular, Female, Genome, Genomic Imprinting, Humans, Immunity, Male, Mammals, MicroRNAs, Milk Proteins, Phylogeny, Platypus, Receptors, Odorant, Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Reptiles, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Spermatozoa, Venoms, Zona Pellucida