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Type: Journal article
Title: Adaptation and conservation insights from the koala genome
Author: Johnson, R.
O Meally, D.
Chen, Z.
Etherington, G.
Ho, S.
Nash, W.
Grueber, C.
Cheng, Y.
Whittington, C.
Dennison, S.
Peel, E.
Haerty, W.
O Neill, R.
Colgan, D.
Russell, T.
Alquezar-Planas, D.
Attenbrow, V.
Bragg, J.
Brandies, P.
Chong, A.
et al.
Citation: Nature Genetics, 2018; 50(8):1102-1111
Publisher: Nature Research
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1061-4036
Statement of
Rebecca N. Johnson ... Kristofer M. Helgen ... et al.
Abstract: The koala, the only extant species of the marsupial family Phascolarctidae, is classified as 'vulnerable' due to habitat loss and widespread disease. We sequenced the koala genome, producing a complete and contiguous marsupial reference genome, including centromeres. We reveal that the koala's ability to detoxify eucalypt foliage may be due to expansions within a cytochrome P450 gene family, and its ability to smell, taste and moderate ingestion of plant secondary metabolites may be due to expansions in the vomeronasal and taste receptors. We characterized novel lactation proteins that protect young in the pouch and annotated immune genes important for response to chlamydial disease. Historical demography showed a substantial population crash coincident with the decline of Australian megafauna, while contemporary populations had biogeographic boundaries and increased inbreeding in populations affected by historic translocations. We identified genetically diverse populations that require habitat corridors and instituting of translocation programs to aid the koala's survival in the wild.
Keywords: Animals; Phascolarctidae; Chlamydia Infections; Translocation, Genetic; Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System; Adaptation, Physiological; Genome; Australia; Female; Molecular Sequence Annotation
Rights: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
RMID: 0030094435
DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0153-5
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Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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