Several taxonomically distinct mammalian groups – certain microbats and cetaceans (e.g. dolphins) – share both morphological adaptations related to echolocation behavior and strong signatures of convergent evolution at the amino acid level across seven genes related to auditory processing. Aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) are nocturnal lemurs with a derived auditory processing system. Aye-ayes tap rapidly along the surfaces of dead trees, listening to reverberations to identify the mines of wood-boring insect larvae; this behavior has been hypothesized to functionally mimic echolocation. Here we investigated whether there are signals of genomic convergence between aye-ayes and known mammalian echolocators. We developed a computational pipeline (BEAT: Basic Exon Assembly Tool) that produces consensus sequences for regions of interest from shotgun genomic sequencing data for non-model organisms without requiring de novo genome assembly. We reconstructed complete coding region sequences for the seven convergent echolocating bat-dolphin genes for aye-ayes and another lemur. Sequences were compared in a phylogenetic framework to those of bat and dolphin echolocators and appropriate non-echolocating outgroups. Our analysis reaffirms the existence of amino acid convergence at these loci among echolocating bats and dolphins; we also detected unexpected signals of convergence between echolocating bats and both mice and elephants. However, we observed no significant signal of amino acid convergence between aye-ayes and echolocating bats and dolphins; our results thus suggest that aye-aye tap-foraging auditory adaptations represent distinct evolutionary innovations. These results are also consistent with a developing consensus that convergent behavioral ecology is not necessarily a reliable guide to convergent molecular evolution.
- Downloaded 1,544 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 14,698
- In evolutionary biology: 462
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 55,013
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 46,803
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!