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Fugu: A Compact Model Vertebrate Genome

  1. V Ravi,
  2. B Venkatesh

Published Online: 15 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0006147.pub3

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Ravi, V. and Venkatesh, B. 2013. Fugu: A Compact Model Vertebrate Genome. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Biopolis, Singapore

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2013

Abstract

The genome of the Japanese pufferfish, Takifugu rubripes (fugu), which is among the smallest vertebrate genomes, is an attractive model vertebrate genome and was the first vertebrate genome to be sequenced after the human genome. It has proved to be valuable for discovering novel genes and evolutionarily conserved regulatory elements in the human genome. Generation of a comprehensive genetic map of fugu and its integration with the genome assembly has increased the utility of fugu in genetic and evolutionary studies. The fugu genome resources should help to unravel the genetic basis of speciation in the Takifugu lineage, which has experienced an explosive speciation in the marine environment within a relatively short period. Given the plans to sequence genomes of up to 10 000 vertebrates in order to understand their evolutionary origin and diversity, fugu will continue to serve as a valuable ‘reference’ vertebrate genome.

Key Concepts:

  • Fugu, a marine pufferfish, was proposed as a model genome to understand better the human genome, mainly because of its compact genome size (1/8th the size of human genome).

  • Comparison of fugu and human genomes enabled the identification of many new human genes and a few thousand gene regulatory elements in the human genome.

  • The availability of a high-resolution genetic map and its integration with the genome assembly has made fugu a more attractive genome model to study the evolution of vertebrates.

  • A combination of two alleles of the Amhr2 gene determines sex in fugu.

  • Because of its phylogenetic position and compact genome size, fugu will continue to serve as a useful ‘reference’ vertebrate genome.

Keywords:

  • Takifugu rubripes;
  • compact vertebrate genome;
  • comparative genomics;
  • conserved noncoding elements;
  • teleost;
  • genetic map;
  • explosive speciation;
  • sex determination;
  • enhancers