13. Major Events in Avian Genome Evolution

  1. Gareth Dyke2 and
  2. Gary Kaiser3
  1. Chris L. Organ and
  2. Scott V. Edwards

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119990475.ch13

Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds

Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds

How to Cite

Organ, C. L. and Edwards, S. V. (2011) Major Events in Avian Genome Evolution, in Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds (eds G. Dyke and G. Kaiser), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119990475.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University College Dublin, Ireland

  2. 3

    Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, Canada

Author Information

  1. Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470656662

Online ISBN: 9781119990475



  • avian genome evolution - and major events;
  • birds, capturing the attention of naturalists - for their beauty, range of behaviors and their mastery of the air;
  • genomics, a larger role in population - organismal, ecological and evolutionary biology in birds and other animals;
  • demise of repetitive elements and shrinking genome size - largest amniote genome, the red viscacha rat (Tympanoctomys barrerae);
  • diagram of events in evolution of the avian genome - the tree based on a phylogenetic analysis of 19 nuclear genes;
  • structure and organization of organism's chromosomes (its karyotype);
  • genome size variation - within modern birds (Neornithes);
  • conspecific karyotype data - for Asian barbets, owls and cormorants;
  • reorganization of genome through microchromosomes - avian karyotype, role in life history of birds with rise of sex chromosomes;
  • short genes, multigene families and isochores - average avian gene, smaller than the average mammalian gene


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Demise of Repetitive Elements and Shrinking Genome Size

  • Expanding Karyotype and Sex Chromosomes

  • Short Genes, Multigene Families, and Isochores

  • Phylogenomics

  • Conclusions

  • Acknowledgments

  • References