Signatures of the evolution of parthenogenesis and cryptobiosis in the genomes of panagrolaimid nematodes

Schiffer, Philipp H.; Danchin, Etienne G.J.; Burnell, Ann M.; Creevey, Christopher J.; Wong, Simon; Dix, Ilona; O'Mahony, Georgina; Culleton, Bridget A.; Rancurel, Corinne; Stier, Gary; Martinez-Salazar, Elizabeth A.; Marconi, Aleksandra; Trivedi, Urmi; Kroiher, Michael; Thorne, Michael A.S. ORCID:; Schierenberg, Einhard; Wiehe, Thomas; Blaxter, Mark. 2019 Signatures of the evolution of parthenogenesis and cryptobiosis in the genomes of panagrolaimid nematodes. iScience, 21. 587-602.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access)
© 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (8MB) | Preview


Most animal species reproduce sexually and fully parthenogenetic lineages are usually short lived in evolution. Still, parthenogenesis may be advantageous as it avoids the cost of sex and permits colonisation by single individuals. Panagrolaimid nematodes have colonised environments ranging from arid deserts to arctic and antarctic biomes. Many are obligatory meiotic parthenogens, and most have cryptobiotic abilities, being able to survive repeated cycles of complete desiccation and freezing. To identify systems that may contribute to these striking abilities, we sequenced and compared the genomes and transcriptomes of parthenogenetic and outcrossing panagrolaimid species, including cryptobionts and non-cryptobionts. The parthenogens are triploids, most likely originating through hybridisation. Adaptation to cryptobiosis shaped the genomes of panagrolaimid nematodes, and is associated with the expansion of gene families and signatures of selection on genes involved in cryptobiosis. All panagrolaimids have acquired genes through horizontal gene transfer, some of which are likely to contribute to cryptobiosis.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Additional Keywords: parthenogenesis, anhydrobiosis, horizontal gene transfer, nematodes, evolution, genomes
Date made live: 29 Oct 2019 13:30 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...