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The First High-Quality Reference Genome of Sika Deer Provides Insights for High-Tannin Adaptation

BioRxiv 2021
Xing X. et al

Sika deer are known to prefer oak leaves, which are rich in tannins and toxic to most mammals; however, the genetic mechanisms underlying their unique ability to adapt to living in the jungle are still unclear. In identifying the mechanism responsible for the tolerance of a highly toxic diet, we have made a major advancement in the elucidation of the genomics of sika deer. We generated the first high-quality, chromosome-level genome assembly of sika deer and measured the correlation between tannin intake and RNA expression in 15 tissues through 180 experiments. Comparative genome analyses showed that the UGT and CYP gene families are functionally involved in the adaptation of sika deer to high-tannin food, especially the expansion of UGT genes in a subfamily. The first chromosome-level assembly and genetic characterization of the tolerance toa highly toxic diet suggest that the sika deer genome will serve as an essential resource for understanding evolutionary events and tannin adaptation. Our study provides a paradigm of comparative expressive genomics that can be applied to the study of unique biological features in non-model animals.


Xiumei XingCheng AiTianjiao WangYang LiHuitao LiuPengfei HuGuiwu WangHuamiao LiuHongliang WangRanran ZhangJunjun ZhengXiaobo WangLei WangYuxiao ChangQian QianJinghua YuLixin TangShigang WuXiujuan ShaoAlun LiPeng CuiWei ZhanSheng ZhaoZhichao WuXiqun ShaoYimeng DongMin RongYihong TanXuezhe CuiShuzhuo ChangXingchao SongTongao YangLimin SunYan JuPei ZhaoHuanhuan FanYing LiuXinhui WangWanyun YangMin YangTao WeiShanshan SongJiaping XuZhigang YueQiqi LiangChunyi LiJue RuanFuhe Yang


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