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The bowfin genome illuminates the developmental evolution of ray-finned fishes
Nature Genetics  (IF38.33),  Pub Date : 2021-08-30, DOI: 10.1038/s41588-021-00914-y
Andrew W. Thompson, M. Brent Hawkins, Elise Parey, Dustin J. Wcisel, Tatsuya Ota, Kazuhiko Kawasaki, Emily Funk, Mauricio Losilla, Olivia E. Fitch, Qiaowei Pan, Romain Feron, Alexandra Louis, Jérôme Montfort, Marine Milhes, Brett L. Racicot, Kevin L. Childs, Quenton Fontenot, Allyse Ferrara, Solomon R. David, Amy R. McCune, Alex Dornburg, Jeffrey A. Yoder, Yann Guiguen, Hugues Roest Crollius, Camille Berthelot, Matthew P. Harris, Ingo Braasch

The bowfin (Amia calva) is a ray-finned fish that possesses a unique suite of ancestral and derived phenotypes, which are key to understanding vertebrate evolution. The phylogenetic position of bowfin as a representative of neopterygian fishes, its archetypical body plan and its unduplicated and slowly evolving genome make bowfin a central species for the genomic exploration of ray-finned fishes. Here we present a chromosome-level genome assembly for bowfin that enables gene-order analyses, settling long-debated neopterygian phylogenetic relationships. We examine chromatin accessibility and gene expression through bowfin development to investigate the evolution of immune, scale, respiratory and fin skeletal systems and identify hundreds of gene-regulatory loci conserved across vertebrates. These resources connect developmental evolution among bony fishes, further highlighting the bowfin’s importance for illuminating vertebrate biology and diversity in the genomic era.