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Liu, Langqing; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Crooijmans, Richard P. M. A.; Bosse, Mirte; Huang, Qitong; Sonsbeek, Linda van; Groenen, Martien A. M. and Madsen, Ole (2022): The Visayan Warty Pig (Sus cebifrons) Genome Provides Insight Into Chromosome Evolution and Sensory Adaptation in Pigs. In: Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 39, No. 6 [PDF, 1MB]


It is largely unknown how mammalian genomes evolve under rapid speciation and environmental adaptation. An excellent model for understanding fast evolution is provided by the genus Sus, which diverged relatively recently and lacks postzygotic isolation. Here, we present a high-quality reference genome of the Visayan warty pig, which is specialized to a tropical island environment. Comparing the genome sequences and chromatin contact maps of the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons) and domestic pig (Sus scrofa), we characterized the dynamics of chromosomal structure evolution during Sus speciation, revealing the similar chromosome conformation as the potential biological mechanism of frequent postdivergence hybridization among Suidae. We further investigated the different signatures of adaptive selection and domestication in Visayan warty pig and domestic pig with specific emphasize on the evolution of olfactory and gustatory genes, elucidating higher olfactory diversity in Visayan warty pig and positive and relaxed evolution of bitter and fat taste receptors, respectively, in domestic pig. Our comprehensive evolutionary and comparative genome analyses provide insight into the dynamics of genomes and how these change over relative short evolutionary times, as well as how these genomic differences encode for differences in the phenotypes.

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