Genome Survey of Asian Wild Dog
The Cuon Enigma: Genome survey and comparative genomics of the endangered Dhole (Cuon alpinus)
Along with the Wild Life Institute of India, Nucleome Informatics completed a collaborative project on genome sequencing of the Asiatic wild dog called Dhole.
The Asiatic wild dog is an endangered monophyletic canid restricted to Asia; facing threats from habitat fragmentation and other anthropogenic factors. Dholes have unique adaptations as compared to other wolf-like canids for large litter size (larger number of mammae) and hypercarnivory making it evolutionarily notable. Over evolutionary time, dhole and the subsequent divergent wild canids have lost coat patterns found in African wild dog. Here we report the first high coverage genome survey of Asiatic wild dog and mapped it with African wild dog, dingo and domestic dog to assess the structural variants. We generated a total of 124.8 Gb data from 416140921 raw read pairs and retained 398659457 reads with 52X coverage and mapped 99.16% of the clean reads to the three reference genomes. We identified ~13553269 SNV’s, ~2858184 InDels, ~41000 SVs, ~1854109 SSRs and about 1000 CNVs. We compared the annotated genome of dingo and domestic dog with dhole genome sequence to understand the role of genes responsible in pelage pattern, dentition and mammary glands. Positively selected genes for these phenotypes were looked for SNP variants and top ranked genes for coat pattern, dentition and mammary glands were found to play a role in signalling and developmental pathways. Mitochondrial genome assembly predicted 35 genes, 11 CDS and 24 tRNA. This genome information will help in understanding the divergence of two monophlyletic canids, Cuon and Lycaon, and the evolutionary adaptations of dholes with respect to other canids.
Preprint is available here;