Adaptation and conservation insights from the koala genome

42Citations
Citations of this article
217Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

Abstract

The koala, the only extant species of the marsupial family Phascolarctidae, is classified as ‘vulnerable’ due to habitat loss and widespread disease. We sequenced the koala genome, producing a complete and contiguous marsupial reference genome, including centromeres. We reveal that the koala’s ability to detoxify eucalypt foliage may be due to expansions within a cytochrome P450 gene family, and its ability to smell, taste and moderate ingestion of plant secondary metabolites may be due to expansions in the vomeronasal and taste receptors. We characterized novel lactation proteins that protect young in the pouch and annotated immune genes important for response to chlamydial disease. Historical demography showed a substantial population crash coincident with the decline of Australian megafauna, while contemporary populations had biogeographic boundaries and increased inbreeding in populations affected by historic translocations. We identified genetically diverse populations that require habitat corridors and instituting of translocation programs to aid the koala’s survival in the wild.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Johnson, R. N., O’Meally, D., Chen, Z., Etherington, G. J., Ho, S. Y. W., Nash, W. J., … Belov, K. (2018). Adaptation and conservation insights from the koala genome. Nature Genetics, 50(8), 1102–1111. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0153-5

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free