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Genome Sequencing and Analysis of the Tasmanian Devil and Its Transmissible Cancer


Murchison, EP and Schulz-Trieglaff, OB and Ning, Z and Alexandrov, LB and Bauer, MJ and Fu, B and Hims, M and Ding, Z and Ivakhno, S and Stewart, C and Ng, BL and Wong, W and Aken, B and White, S and Alsop, A and Becq, J and Bignell, GR and Cheetham, RK and Cheng, W and Connor, TR and Cox, AJ and Feng, Z-P and Gu, Y and Grocock, RJ and Harris, SR and Khrebtukova, I and Kingsbury, Z and Kowarsky, M and Kreiss, A and Luo, S and Marshall, J and McBride, DJ and Murray, L and Pearse, AM and Raine, K and Rasolonjatovo, I and Shaw, R and Tedder, P and Tregidgo, C and Vilella, AJ and Wedge, DC and Woods, GM and Gormley, N and Humphray, S and Schroth, G and Smith, G and Hall, K and Searle, SMJ and Carter, NP and Papenfuss, AT and Futreal, PA and Campbell, PJ and Yang, F and Bentley, DR and Evers, DJ and Stratton, MR, Genome Sequencing and Analysis of the Tasmanian Devil and Its Transmissible Cancer, Cell, 148, (4) pp. 780-791. ISSN 0092-8674 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.065


The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), the largest marsupial carnivore, is endangered due to a transmissible facial cancer spread by direct transfer of living cancer cells through biting. Here we describe the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the Tasmanian devil genome and whole-genome sequences for two geographically distant subclones of the cancer. Genomic analysis suggests that the cancer first arose from a female Tasmanian devil and that the clone has subsequently genetically diverged during its spread across Tasmania. The devil cancer genome contains more than 17,000 somatic base substitution mutations and bears the imprint of a distinct mutational process. Genotyping of somatic mutations in 104 geographically and temporally distributed Tasmanian devil tumors reveals the pattern of evolution and spread of this parasitic clonal lineage, with evidence of a selective sweep in one geographical area and persistence of parallel lineages in other populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genomics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Kreiss, A (Dr Alexandre Kreiss)
UTAS Author:Woods, GM (Professor Gregory Woods)
ID Code:77804
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:229
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2012-05-30
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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