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Comparative Analysis of Bat Genomes Provides Insight into the Evolution of Flight and Immunity

Zhang, Guojie, Cowled, Christopher, Shi, Zhengli, Huang, Zhiyong, Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A., Fang, Xiaodong, Wynne, James W., Xiong, Zhiqiang, Baker, Michelle L., Zhao, Wei, Tachedjian, Mary, Zhu, Yabing, Zhou, Peng, Jiang, Xuanting, Ng, Justin, Yang, Lan, Wu, Lijun, Xiao, Jin, Feng, Yue, Chen, Yuanxin, Sun, Xiaoqing, Zhang, Yong, Marsh, Glenn A., Crameri, Gary, Broder, Christopher C., Frey, Kenneth G., Wang, Lin-Fa, Wang, Jun
Science 2013 v.339 no.6118 pp. 456-460
Myotis, Pteropus alecto, energy, evolution, flight, gene expression, genes, hosts, immunity, infectious diseases, oxidative phosphorylation
Bat Genomes Bats are of great interest because of their ability to fly and as hosts for infectious disease. Zhang et al. (p. 456, published online 20 December) sequenced the genomes of two distantly related bat species, David's Myotis and Black flying fox. Analysis of the two genomes revealed likely changes that accompanied the evolution of bats, including selection for increased expression of genes involved in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway needed to generate the energy required for flight. Furthermore, while some immune genes have been lost, others are under positive selection, which may potentially explain bats' status as viral reservoirs.