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129895 - Phylotranscriptomic insights into the diversification of.pdf (465.01 kB)

Phylotranscriptomic insights into the diversification of endothermic Thunnus tunas

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 23:27 authored by Ciezarek, AG, Osborne, OG, Shipley, ON, Brooks, EJ, Sean TraceySean Tracey, Jaime McAllisterJaime McAllister, Gardner, LD, Sternberg, MJE, Block, B, Savolainen, V
Birds, mammals, and certain fishes, including tunas, opahs and lamnid sharks, are endothermic, conserving internally generated, metabolic heat to maintain body or tissue temperatures above that of the environment. Bluefin tunas are commercially important fishes worldwide, and some populations are threatened. They are renowned for their endothermy, maintaining elevated temperatures of the oxidative locomotor muscle, viscera, brain and eyes, and occupying cold, productive high-latitude waters. Less cold-tolerant tunas, such as yellowfin tuna, by contrast, remain in warm-temperate to tropical waters year-round, reproducing more rapidly than most temperate bluefin tuna populations, providing resiliency in the face of large-scale industrial fisheries. Despite the importance of these traits to not only fisheries but also habitat utilization and responses to climate change, little is known of the genetic processes underlying the diversification of tunas. In collecting and analyzing sequence data across 29,556 genes, we found that parallel selection on standing genetic variation is associated with the evolution of endothermy in bluefin tunas. This includes two shared substitutions in genes encoding glycerol-3 phosphate dehydrogenase, an enzyme that contributes to thermogenesis in bumblebees and mammals, as well as four genes involved in the Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, β-oxidation, and superoxide removal. Using phylogenetic techniques, we further illustrate that the eight Thunnus species are genetically distinct, but found evidence of mitochondrial genome introgression across two species. Phylogeny-based metrics highlight conservation needs for some of these species.


Publication title

Molecular Biology and Evolution








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Oxford Univ Press

Place of publication

Great Clarendon St, Oxford, England, Ox2 6Dp

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 The Author(s). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)

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