Sequencing of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) genome provides insights into vertebrate evolution

Jeramiah J. Smith, Shigehiro Kuraku, Carson Holt, Tatjana Sauka-Spengler, Ning Jiang, Michael S. Campbell, Mark D. Yandell, Tereza Manousaki, Axel Meyer, Ona E. Bloom, Jennifer R. Morgan, Joseph D. Buxbaum, Ravi Sachidanandam, Carrie Sims, Alexander S. Garruss, Malcolm Cook, Robb Krumlauf, Leanne M. Wiedemann, Stacia A. Sower, Wayne A. DecaturJeffrey A. Hall, Chris T. Amemiya, Nil R. Saha, Katherine M. Buckley, Jonathan P. Rast, Sabyasachi Das, Masayuki Hirano, Nathanael McCurley, Peng Guo, Nicolas Rohner, Clifford J. Tabin, Paul Piccinelli, Greg Elgar, Magali Ruffier, Bronwen L. Aken, Stephen M.J. Searle, Matthieu Muffato, Miguel Pignatelli, Javier Herrero, Matthew Jones, C. Titus Brown, Yu Wen Chung-Davidson, Kaben G. Nanlohy, Scot V. Libants, Chu Yin Yeh, David W. McCauley, James A. Langeland, Zeev Pancer, Bernd Fritzsch, Pieter J. De Jong, Baoli Zhu, Lucinda L. Fulton, Brenda Theising, Paul Flicek, Marianne E. Bronner, Wesley C. Warren, Sandra W. Clifton, Richard K. Wilson, Weiming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

494 Scopus citations


Lampreys are representatives of an ancient vertebrate lineage that diverged from our own ∼500 million years ago. By virtue of this deeply shared ancestry, the sea lamprey (P. marinus) genome is uniquely poised to provide insight into the ancestry of vertebrate genomes and the underlying principles of vertebrate biology. Here, we present the first lamprey whole-genome sequence and assembly. We note challenges faced owing to its high content of repetitive elements and GC bases, as well as the absence of broad-scale sequence information from closely related species. Analyses of the assembly indicate that two whole-genome duplications likely occurred before the divergence of ancestral lamprey and gnathostome lineages. Moreover, the results help define key evolutionary events within vertebrate lineages, including the origin of myelin-associated proteins and the development of appendages. The lamprey genome provides an important resource for reconstructing vertebrate origins and the evolutionary events that have shaped the genomes of extant organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Genome Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, Production Sequencing group for all sample procurement and genome sequencing work, the Michigan State University Genomic Core for transcriptome sequencing and the US Geological Survey, Lake Huron Biological Station for providing lamprey samples for sequencing. We thank F. Antonacci and E.E. Eichler (University of Washington) for performing FISH and providing access to computational facilities, respectively. We thank M. Robinson for bioinformatic analysis of immune system–related genes and conversion of GFF files for BAC end mapping. A portion of this research was conducted at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Massachusetts). We acknowledge the support of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research (SIMR) and technical support from the SIMR Molecular Biology Core, particularly K. Staehling, A. Perera and K. Delventhal for BAC screening and sequencing. We acknowledge the Center for High-Performance Computing at the University of Utah for the allocation of computational resources toward gene annotation. We recognize all the important work that could not be cited owing to space limitations. The lamprey genome project was funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (U54HG003079 (R.K.W.)). Additional support was provided by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (R24GM83982 (W.L.)) and the Great Lakes Fisheries commission (W.L.). Partial funding was provided by several additional sources, including grants from the US National Institutes of Health (F32GM087919 and T32HG00035 (J.J.S.); DE017911 (M.E.B.); R03NS078519 (O.E.B.); R01HG004694 (M.D.Y.); GM079492, GM090049 and RR014085 (C.T.A.); and R37HD032443 (C.J.T.)), the National Science Foundation (MCB-0719558 (C.T.A.); IOS-0849569 (S.A.S.); IBN-0208138 (L. Holland); and IOS-1126998 (M.D.Y.)), the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station (Scientific Contribution Number 2471 (S.A.S.)), the Charles Evans Research Award (O.E.B., J.D.B. and J.R.M.), the Wellcome Trust (WT095908 (P.F.) and WT098051), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP74667 (J.P.R.)) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (312221 (J.P.R.)).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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