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  1. Abstract Background The increasing number of chromosome-level genome assemblies has advanced our knowledge and understanding of macroevolutionary processes. Here, we introduce the genome of the desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, an iguanid lizard occupying extreme desert conditions of the American southwest. We conduct analysis of the chromosomal structure and composition of this species and compare these features across genomes of 12 other reptiles (5 species of lizards, 3 snakes, 3 turtles, and 1 bird). Findings The desert horned lizard genome was sequenced using Illumina paired-end reads and assembled and scaffolded using Dovetail Genomics Hi-C and Chicago long-range contact data. Themore »resulting genome assembly has a total length of 1,901.85 Mb, scaffold N50 length of 273.213 Mb, and includes 5,294 scaffolds. The chromosome-level assembly is composed of 6 macrochromosomes and 11 microchromosomes. A total of 20,764 genes were annotated in the assembly. GC content and gene density are higher for microchromosomes than macrochromosomes, while repeat element distributions show the opposite trend. Pathway analyses provide preliminary evidence that microchromosome and macrochromosome gene content are functionally distinct. Synteny analysis indicates that large microchromosome blocks are conserved among closely related species, whereas macrochromosomes show evidence of frequent fusion and fission events among reptiles, even between closely related species. Conclusions Our results demonstrate dynamic karyotypic evolution across Reptilia, with frequent inferred splits, fusions, and rearrangements that have resulted in shuffling of chromosomal blocks between macrochromosomes and microchromosomes. Our analyses also provide new evidence for distinct gene content and chromosomal structure between microchromosomes and macrochromosomes within reptiles.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Baldauf, Sandra (Ed.)
    Abstract The southwestern and central United States serve as an ideal region to test alternative hypotheses regarding biotic diversification. Genomic data can now be combined with sophisticated computational models to quantify the impacts of paleoclimate change, geographic features, and habitat heterogeneity on spatial patterns of genetic diversity. In this study, we combine thousands of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) loci with mtDNA sequences (ND1) from the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) to quantify relative support for different catalysts of diversification. Phylogenetic and clustering analyses of the GBS data indicate support for at least three primary populations. The spatial distribution of populations appears concordantmore »with habitat type, with desert populations in AZ and NM showing the largest genetic divergence from the remaining populations. The mtDNA data also support a divergent desert population, but other relationships differ and suggest mtDNA introgression. Genotype–environment association with bioclimatic variables supports divergence along precipitation gradients more than along temperature gradients. Demographic analyses support a complex history, with introgression and gene flow playing an important role during diversification. Bayesian multispecies coalescent analyses with introgression (MSci) analyses also suggest that gene flow occurred between populations. Paleo-species distribution models support two southern refugia that geographically correspond to contemporary lineages. We find that divergence times are underestimated and population sizes are overestimated when introgression occurred and is ignored in coalescent analyses, and furthermore, inference of ancient introgression events and demographic history is sensitive to inclusion of a single recently admixed sample. Our analyses cannot refute the riverine barrier or glacial refugia hypotheses. Results also suggest that populations are continuing to diverge along habitat gradients. Finally, the strong evidence of admixture, gene flow, and mtDNA introgression among populations suggests that P. cornutum should be considered a single widespread species under the General Lineage Species Concept.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. null (Ed.)