Larger genomes linked to slower development and loss of late-developing traits
Womack, Molly C., Colorado State University
Metz, Marissa J., Colorado State University
Hoke, Kim L., Colorado State University
Published Mar 13, 2020 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Womack, Molly C.; Metz, Marissa J.; Hoke, Kim L. (2020). Larger genomes linked to slower development and loss of late-developing traits [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k02pq01
Genome size varies widely among organisms and is known to affect vertebrate development, morphology, and physiology. In amphibians, genome size is hypothesized to contribute to loss of late-forming structures, although this hypothesis has mainly been discussed in salamanders. Here we estimated genome size for 22 anuran species and combined this novel dataset with existing genome size data for an additional 234 anuran species to determine whether larger genome size is associated with loss of a late-forming anuran sensory structure, the tympanic middle ear. We established that genome size is negatively correlated with development rate across 90 anuran species and found that genome size evolution is correlated with evolutionary loss of the middle ear bone (columella) among 241 species (224 eared and 17 earless). We further tested whether the development of the tympanic middle ear could be constrained by large cell sizes and small body sizes during key stages of tympanic middle
ear development (metamorphosis). Together, our evidence suggests that larger genomes, slower development rate, and smaller body sizes at metamorphosis may contribute to the loss of the anuran tympanic middle ear. We conclude that increases in anuran genome size, although less drastic than in salamanders, may affect development of late-forming traits.
Data used and relevant references for Womack et al. 2019 publication in American Naturalist.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-13503461350346