ISSN 1007-0214 (Print)
ISSN 1878-7606 (Online)
CN 11-3745/N (Print)
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Prolonged milk provisioning and extended maternal care in the milking spider Toxeus magnus: biological implications and questions unresolved
Bing Dong, Rui-Chang Quan, Zhan-Qi Chen
Zoological Research    2019, 40 (4): 241-243.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.041
Online available: 04 June 2019

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Prolonged milk provisioning and extended parental care for nutritionally independent offspring, previously considered to only co-occur in long-lived mammals (Clutton-Brock, 1991; Royle et al., 2012), were recently reported in the reproduction of the milking spider, Toxeus magnus (Chen et al. 2018). Newly hatched T. magnus spiderlings require 53 days to develop to maturity, with an average adult body length of 6.6 mm. The mother provides milk droplets to her newly hatched spiderlings until they develop into subadults (~38 days old), during which their body lengths increase from 0.9 mm at birth to 5.3 mm at weaning. Although spiderlings can forage for themselves at around 20 days old, they remain in the breeding nest for weeks after maturity.

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Allele-specific expression and alternative splicing in horse×donkey and cattle×yak hybrids
Yu Wang, Shan Gao, Yue Zhao, Wei-Huang Chen, Jun-Jie Shao, Ni-Ni Wang, Ming Li, Guang-Xian Zhou, Lei Wang, Wen-Jing Shen, Jing-Tao Xu, Wei-Dong Deng, Wen Wang, Yu-Lin Chen, Yu Jiang
Zoological Research    2019, 40 (4): 293-304.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.042
Online available: 03 July 2019

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Divergence of gene expression and alternative splicing is a crucial driving force in the evolution of species; to date, however the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Hybrids of closely related species provide a suitable model to analyze allele-specific expression (ASE) and allele-specific alternative splicing (ASS). Analysis of ASE and ASS can uncover the differences in cis-regulatory elements between closely related species, while eliminating interference of trans-regulatory elements. Here, we provide a detailed characterization of ASE and ASS from 19 and 10 transcriptome datasets across five tissues from reciprocal-cross hybrids of horse×donkey (mule/hinny) and cattle×yak (dzo), respectively. Results showed that 4.8%–8.7% and 10.8%–16.7% of genes exhibited ASE and ASS, respectively. Notably, lncRNAs and pseudogenes were more likely to show ASE than protein-coding genes. In addition, genes showing ASE and ASS in mule/hinny were found to be involved in the regulation of muscle strength, whereas those of dzo were involved in high-altitude adaptation. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that exploration of genes showing ASE and ASS in hybrids of closely related species is feasible for species evolution research.

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