Genomic resources for the endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers

BMC Genomics
Taylor CallicrateRobert C Fleischer


The Hawaiian honeycreepers are an avian adaptive radiation containing many endangered and extinct species. They display a dramatic range of phenotypic variation and are a model system for studies of evolution, conservation, disease dynamics and population genetics. Development of a genome-scale resources for this group would augment the quality of research focusing on Hawaiian honeycreepers and facilitate comparative avian genomic research. We assembled the genome sequence of a Hawaii amakihi (Hemignathus virens),and identified ~3.9 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genome. Using the amakihi genome as a reference, we also identified ~156,000 SNPs in RAD tag (restriction site associated DNA) sequencing of five honeycreeper species (palila [Loxioides bailleui], Nihoa finch [Telespiza ultima], iiwi [Vestiaria coccinea], apapane [Himatione sanguinea], and amakihi). SNPs are distributed throughout the amakihi genome, and the individual sequenced shows several large regions of low heterozygosity on chromosomes 1, 5, 6, 8 and 11. SNPs from RAD tag sequencing were also found throughout the genome but were found to be more densely located on microchromosomes, apparently a result of differential distribution of the pa...Continue Reading


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