Low mutation rate in epaulette sharks is consistent with a slow rate of evolution in sharks.

Sendell-Price AT, Tulenko FJ, Pettersson M, Kang D, Montandon M, Winkler S, Kulb K, Naylor GP, Phillippy A, Fedrigo O, Mountcastle J, Balacco JR, Dutra A, Dale RE, Haase B, Jarvis ED, Myers G, Burgess SM, Currie PD, Andersson L, Schartl M

Nat Commun 14 (1) 6628 [2023-10-19; online 2023-10-19]

Sharks occupy diverse ecological niches and play critical roles in marine ecosystems, often acting as apex predators. They are considered a slow-evolving lineage and have been suggested to exhibit exceptionally low cancer rates. These two features could be explained by a low nuclear mutation rate. Here, we provide a direct estimate of the nuclear mutation rate in the epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum). We generate a high-quality reference genome, and resequence the whole genomes of parents and nine offspring to detect de novo mutations. Using stringent criteria, we estimate a mutation rate of 7×10-10 per base pair, per generation. This represents one of the lowest directly estimated mutation rates for any vertebrate clade, indicating that this basal vertebrate group is indeed a slowly evolving lineage whose ability to restore genetic diversity following a sustained population bottleneck may be hampered by a low mutation rate.

Bioinformatics Support for Computational Resources [Service]

PubMed 37857613

DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-42238-x

Crossref 10.1038/s41467-023-42238-x

pmc: PMC10587355
pii: 10.1038/s41467-023-42238-x

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