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Variants in the host genome may inhibit tumour growth in devil facial tumours: evidence from genome-wide association


Wright, B and Willet, CE and Hamede, R and Jones, M and Belov, K and Wade, CM, Variants in the host genome may inhibit tumour growth in devil facial tumours: evidence from genome-wide association, Scientific Reports, 7 Article 423. ISSN 2045-2322 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-017-00439-7


Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) has decimated wild populations of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) due to its ability to avoid immune detection and pass from host to host by biting. A small number of devils have been observed to spontaneously recover from the disease which is otherwise fatal. We have sequenced the genomes of these rare cases and compared them to the genomes of devils who succumbed to the disease. Genome-wide association, based on this limited sampling, highlighted two key genomic regions potentially associated with ability to survive DFTD. Following targeted genotyping in additional samples, both of these loci remain significantly different between cases and controls, with the PAX3 locus retaining significance at the 0.001 level, though genome-wide significance was not achieved. We propose that PAX3 may be involved in a regulatory pathway that influences the slowing of tumour growth and may allow more time for an immune response to be mounted in animals with regressed tumours. This provides an intriguing hypothesis for further research and could provide a novel route of treatment for this devastating disease.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:genomic analysis, Tasmanian devil, devil facial tumour disease, cancer
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Hamede, R (Dr Rodrigo Hamede Ross)
UTAS Author:Jones, M (Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:116768
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2017-05-19
Last Modified:2018-05-08
Downloads:163 View Download Statistics

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