Positive selection and inactivation in vision and hearing genes of cetaceans

Michael McGowen, Georgia Tsagkogeorga, Joseph Williamson, Phillip Morin & Stephen Rossiter
The transition to an aquatic lifestyle in cetaceans (whales and dolphins) resulted in a radical transformation in their sensory systems. Toothed whales acquired specialized high-frequency hearing tied to the evolution of echolocation, while baleen whales evolved low-frequency hearing. More generally, all cetaceans show adaptations for hearing and seeing underwater. To determine the extent to which these phenotypic changes have been driven by molecular adaptation, we performed large-scale targeted sequence capture of 179 sensory genes across...
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