Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.065

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell

Publication Date

02/2012

Volume

148

Pages

780 - 791

Addresses

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, CB10 1SA, UK. elizabeth.murchison@sanger.ac.uk

Keywords

Animals, Marsupialia, Facial Neoplasms, Genomic Instability, Mutation, Molecular Sequence Data, Tasmania, Female, Male, Genome-Wide Association Study, Endangered Species, Clonal Evolution