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A chromosome-level genome of Antechinus flavipes provides a reference for an Australasian marsupial genus with suicidal reproduction
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  • Ran Tian,
  • Kai Han,
  • Yuepan Geng,
  • Chen Yang,
  • Patrick Thomas,
  • Coral Pearce,
  • Kate Moffatt,
  • Siming Ma,
  • shixia xu,
  • Guang Yang,
  • Xuming Zhou,
  • Vadim Gladyshev,
  • Chengcheng Shi,
  • Xin Liu,
  • Diana Fisher,
  • Lisa Chopin,
  • Natália Leiner,
  • Andrew Baker,
  • Guangyi Fan,
  • Inge Seim
Ran Tian
Nanjing Normal University
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Yuepan Geng
Nanjing Normal University
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Chen Yang
Nanjing Normal University
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Patrick Thomas
Queensland University of Technology
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Coral Pearce
Queensland University of Technology
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Kate Moffatt
Queensland University of Technology
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Siming Ma
Genome Institute of Singapore
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shixia xu
Nanjing Normal University
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Guang Yang
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Xuming Zhou
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Vadim Gladyshev
Harvard Medical School Department of Genetics
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Chengcheng Shi
BGI Group
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Xin Liu
BGI
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Diana Fisher
The University of Queensland - Saint Lucia Campus
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Lisa Chopin
Queensland University of Technology
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Natália Leiner
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
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Andrew Baker
Queensland University of Technology
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Guangyi Fan
BGI
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Inge Seim
Nanjing Normal University School of Life Sciences
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Abstract

The 15 species of small carnivorous marsupials that comprise the genus Antechinus exhibit semelparity, a rare life-history strategy where death occurs after one breeding season. Antechinus males, but not females, age rapidly (demonstrate organismal senescence) during the breeding season and show promise as new animal models of ageing. Some antechinus species are also threatened or endangered. Here, we report chromosome-level genomes of the yellow-footed antechinus Antechinus flavipes. The genome assembly has a total length of 3.2 Gb with a contig N50 of 51.8 Mb and a scaffold N50 of 636.7 Mb. We anchored and oriented 99.7% of the assembly on seven pseudochromosomes and found that repetitive DNA sequences occupy 51.8% of the genome. Draft genome assemblies of three related species in the subfamily Phascogalinae, two additional antechinus species (A. argentus and A. arktos) and the iteroparous sister species Murexia melanurus were also generated. Preliminary demographic analysis supports the hypothesis that climate change during the Pleistocene isolated species in Phascogalinae and shaped their population size. A transcriptomic profile across the A. flavipes breeding season allowed us to identify genes associated with aspects of the male die-off. The chromosome-level A. flavipes genome provides a steppingstone to understanding an enigmatic life-history strategy and a resource to assist the conservation of antechinuses.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

23 May 2021Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
08 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
08 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
09 Jun 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned