University Of Tasmania
142720 - Evolution and lineage dynamics of a transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils.pdf (2.42 MB)

Evolution and lineage dynamics of a transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils

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posted on 2023-05-20, 20:47 authored by Kwon, YM, Gori, K, Park, N, Potts, N, Swift, K, Wang, J, Stammnitz, MR, Cannell, N, Baez-Ortega, A, Comte, S, Fox, S, Harmsen, C, Huxtable, S, Menna JonesMenna Jones, Kreiss, A, Lawrence, C, Lazenby, B, Peck, S, Ruth PyeRuth Pye, Gregory WoodsGregory Woods, Zimmermann, M, Wedge, DC, Pemberton, D, Stratton, MR, Rodrigo Hamede RossRodrigo Hamede Ross, Murchison, EP
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Devil facial tumour 1 (DFT1) is a transmissible cancer clone endangering the Tasmanian devil. The expansion of DFT1 across Tasmania has been documented, but little is known of its evolutionary history. We analysed genomes of 648 DFT1 tumours collected throughout the disease range between 2003 and 2018. DFT1 diverged early into five clades, three spreading widely and two failing to persist. One clade has replaced others at several sites, and rates of DFT1 coinfection are high. DFT1 gradually accumulates copy number variants (CNVs), and its telomere lengths are short but constant. Recurrent CNVs reveal genes under positive selection, sites of genome instability, and repeated loss of a small derived chromosome. Cultured DFT1 cell lines have increased CNV frequency and undergo highly reproducible convergent evolution. Overall, DFT1 is a remarkably stable lineage whose genome illustrates how cancer cells adapt to diverse environments and persist in a parasitic niche.


Publication title

PLoS Biology





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School of Natural Sciences


Public Library of Science

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Kwon et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments

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