Endangered island endemic plants have vulnerable genomes

Tomoko Hamabata, Gohta Kinoshita, Kazuki Kurita, Ping Lin Cao, Motomi Ito, Jin Murata, Yoshiteru Komaki, Yuji Isagi, Takashi Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Loss of genetic diversity is known to decrease the fitness of species and is a critical factor that increases extinction risk. However, there is little evidence for higher vulnerability and extinction risk in endangered species based on genomic differences between endangered and non-endangered species. This is true even in the case of functional loci, which are more likely to relate to the fitness of species than neutral loci. Here, we compared the genome-wide genetic diversity, proportion of duplicated genes (PD), and accumulation of deleterious variations of endangered island endemic (EIE) plants from four genera with those of their non-endangered (NE) widespread congeners. We focused on exhaustive sequences of expressed genes obtained by RNA sequencing. Most EIE species exhibited significantly lower genetic diversity and PD than NE species. Additionally, all endangered species accumulated deleterious variations. Our findings provide new insights into the genomic traits of EIE species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number244
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1


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