High-coverage genomes to elucidate the evolution of penguins
Penguins (Sphenisciformes) are a remarkable order of flightless wing-propelled diving seabirds distributed widely across the southern hemisphere. They share a volant common ancestor with Procellariiformes close to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (66 million years ago) and subsequently lost the ability to fly but enhanced their diving capabilities. With ∼20 species among 6 genera, penguins range from the tropical Galápagos Islands to the oceanic temperate forests of New Zealand, the rocky coastlines of the sub-Antarctic islands, and the sea ice around Antarctica. To inhabit such diverse and extreme environments, penguins evolved many physiological and morphological adaptations. However, they are also highly sensitive to climate change. Therefore, penguins provide an exciting target system for understanding the evolutionary processes of speciation, adaptation, and demography. Genomic data are an emerging resource for addressing questions about such processes.
Authors: Pan, Hailin, Cole, Theresa L., Bi, Xupeng, Fang, Miaoquan, Zhou, Chengran, Yang, Zhengtao, Hart, Tom, Bouzat, Juan L., Argilla, Lisa S., Bertelsen, Mads F., Boersma, P. Dee, Bost, Charles-André, Cherel, Yves, Dann, Peter, Fiddaman, Steven R., Howard, Pauline, Labuschagne, Kim, Mattern, Thomas, Miller, Gary, Parker, Patricia, Phillips, Richard A., Quillfeldt, Petra, Ryan, Peter G., Taylor, Helen, Thompson, David R., Young, Melanie J., Ellegaard, Martin R., Gilbert, M. Thomas P., Mikkel-Holger, S. Sinding, Pacheco, George, Shepherd, Lara D., Tennyson, Alan J.D., Grosser, Stefanie, Kay, Emily, Nupen, Lisa j., Ellenberg, Ursula, Houston, David M., Reeve, Andrew Hart, Johnson, Kathryn, Masello, Juan F., Stracke, Thomas, McKinlay, Bruce, Zhang, De Xing, Zhang, Guojie