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Wei-wei Zhang, Zhuo-Ying Weng, Xi Wang, Yang Yang, Duo Li, Le Wang, Xiaochun Liu, Zi Ning Meng. The genetic mechanism of body size variation in groupers: insights from phylotranscriptomics. Zoological Research. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2023.222
Citation: Wei-wei Zhang, Zhuo-Ying Weng, Xi Wang, Yang Yang, Duo Li, Le Wang, Xiaochun Liu, Zi Ning Meng. The genetic mechanism of body size variation in groupers: insights from phylotranscriptomics. Zoological Research. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2023.222

The genetic mechanism of body size variation in groupers: insights from phylotranscriptomics

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2023.222
  • Received Date: 2023-07-18
  • Accepted Date: 2023-10-13
  • Rev Recd Date: 2023-10-13
  • Published Online: 2023-12-06
  • Animal body size variation is of particular interest in evolutionary biology, but the genetic basis remains largely unknown. Previous studies have shown the presence of two parallel evolutionary genetic clusters within the fish genus Epinephelus, which showed evident divergence in body size, providing an excellent opportunity to investigate the genetic basis of body size variation in vertebrates. Herein, we performed phylo-transcriptomic methods and reconstructed the phylogeny of 13 epinephelids originated from the South China Sea. Two genetic clades with estimated divergence time of ~ 15.4 MYA (million years ago), were identified to correlate with large and small body size, respectively. A total of 180 rapidly evolving genes (REGs) and two positively selected genes (PSGs) were identified between the two groups. Functional enrichment analyses on these candidate genes revealed distinctly different enrichment categories between the two groups. These pathways or genes may play important roles in body size variation in groupers through complex regulatory networks. Based on the results of this study, we speculate that the ancestors of the two divergent groups of groupers may have adapted to different environments through habitat selection, leading to genetic variations in metabolic patterns, organ development, and lifespan, which finally resulted in the divergence of body size between two locally adapted populations. These findings provide important insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying body size variation in groupers and species differentiation.
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      沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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