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Evolution and lineage dynamics of a transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils


Kwon, YM and Gori, K and Park, N and Potts, N and Swift, K and Wang, J and Stammnitz, MR and Cannell, N and Baez-Ortega, A and Comte, S and Fox, S and Harmsen, C and Huxtable, S and Jones, M and Kreiss, A and Lawrence, C and Lazenby, B and Peck, S and Pye, R and Woods, G and Zimmermann, M and Wedge, DC and Pemberton, D and Stratton, MR and Hamede, R and Murchison, EP, Evolution and lineage dynamics of a transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils, PLoS Biology, 18, (11) Article e3000926. ISSN 1544-9173 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Kwon et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3000926


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Devil facial tumour 1 (DFT1) is a transmissible cancer clone endangering the Tasmanian devil. The expansion of DFT1 across Tasmania has been documented, but little is known of its evolutionary history. We analysed genomes of 648 DFT1 tumours collected throughout the disease range between 2003 and 2018. DFT1 diverged early into five clades, three spreading widely and two failing to persist. One clade has replaced others at several sites, and rates of DFT1 coinfection are high. DFT1 gradually accumulates copy number variants (CNVs), and its telomere lengths are short but constant. Recurrent CNVs reveal genes under positive selection, sites of genome instability, and repeated loss of a small derived chromosome. Cultured DFT1 cell lines have increased CNV frequency and undergo highly reproducible convergent evolution. Overall, DFT1 is a remarkably stable lineage whose genome illustrates how cancer cells adapt to diverse environments and persist in a parasitic niche.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Tasmanian devil, disease, DFTD, tumour evolution
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Host-parasite interactions
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Comte, S (Mr Sebastien Comte)
UTAS Author:Jones, M (Professor Menna Jones)
UTAS Author:Kreiss, A (Dr Alexandre Kreiss)
UTAS Author:Pye, R (Ms Ruth Pye)
UTAS Author:Woods, G (Professor Gregory Woods)
UTAS Author:Hamede, R (Dr Rodrigo Hamede Ross)
ID Code:142720
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2021-02-09
Last Modified:2021-03-24
Downloads:19 View Download Statistics

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