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Investigating the role of life-history traits in mammalian genomes: supplementary material

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posted on 19.08.2019 by Yun Tang, Chun Lan Mai, Jian Ping Yu, Da Yong Li

Genome size evolution has intrigued many evolutionary biologists. Ultimately, the reasons that genomes have become large are proliferation of non-coding elements and/or duplication events. The proximate causes are related to phylogeny, life-history traits and environmental factors. Genome size in mammals exhibits little interspecific variation compared with other taxa. The proximate causes and the evolutionary patterns shaped by phylogeny or life-history traits are largely unknown for mammals. Here, with a dataset of 121 species of mammals, we studied the variations of genome size associated with life history using a comparative quantitative analysis. The results showed that the genome size was positively associated with body size, but not with four other life-history traits (i.e., gestation period, weaning age, litter size, and longevity) in these species. For Primates, Rodentia and Chiroptera, the genome size was not correlated with life-history traits. Our results suggest that evolution of a large genome may result from increased cell size and thus facilitate the evolution of large bodies.

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