Monday, November 13, 2023

Whole Genome Assemblies for Two Southern African Dwarf Chameleons


    In the genomics world, a database of expansive and comprehensive data for species' genomes is essential to understand evolution of the species and their characteristics. Researchers previously did not have comprehensive data on the Bradypodion genus and African taxa due to lack of resources, leaving many questions. Recently, the southern African dwarf chameleon has been the primary area of interest. Although initially thought to have convergent evolutionary traits, it has been identified they have a high amount of synteny. Most surprisingly, despite the Anolis genus diverging from this lineage 170 million years ago, synteny is still maintained among these species. C. calyptratus differs from this chameleon genus as sex is determined by XX & XY chromosomes. At some point divergence must have occurred and the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes must have evolved. Although Bradypodion has not been known to possess the X chromosome, it is hypothesized that sex determination must reside in a different chromosomal location. Researchers were able to identify that these species were the most contiguous reptiles found as of current.  As research develops, tracking the lineages and understanding evolutionary trait development is important in understanding the origin and adaptation abilities of these intriguing reptiles.

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