The genome of the green anole lizard and a comparative analysis with birds and mammals

Jessica Alföldi, Federica Di Palma, Manfred Grabherr, Christina Williams, Lesheng Kong, Evan Mauceli, Pamela Russell, Craig B Lowe, Richard E Glor, Jacob D Jaffe, David A Ray, Stephane Boissinot, Andrew M Shedlock, Christopher Botka, Todd A Castoe, John K Colbourne, Matthew K Fujita, Ricardo Godinez Moreno, Boudewijn F ten Hallers, David HausslerAndreas Heger, David Heiman, Daniel E Janes, Jeremy Johnson, Pieter J de Jong, Maxim Y Koriabine, Marcia Lara, Peter A Novick, Chris L Organ, Sally E Peach, Steven Poe, David D Pollock, Kevin de Queiroz, Thomas Sanger, Steve Searle, Jeremy D Smith, Zachary Smith, Ross Swofford, Jason Turner-Maier, Juli Wade, Sarah Young, Amonida Zadissa, Scott V Edwards, Travis C Glenn, Christopher J Schneider, Jonathan B Losos, Eric S Lander, Matthew Breen, Chris P Ponting, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

398 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals and birds, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse-more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. The GC content of this lizard genome is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
Issue number7366
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2011


  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Chickens
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • GC Rich Sequence
  • Genome
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Lizards
  • Mammals
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Synteny
  • X Chromosome


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