Salamander polyploid amazes with its genome (s)

With axolotls among their relatives, its little wonder that the unisexual mole salamanders provide a wealth of interest as genomes become unravelled. Ambystoma species that are sexual (instead of parthenogenetic) include A. laterale, A. texanum and A. tigrinum. It has now been found that these 3 species have their genomes neatly included in the unisexual Ambystoma. The ancestors of this lady have conveniently been breeding with the 3 sexual species, creating the triploid unisexual.

This kind of polyploidy has long been recognised in plants and animals as driving evolution. Kyle E. McElroy and his colleagues from the University of Iowa and Ohio State University, US, collected their animals from Ohio and composed transcriptomes for all 4 of the species concerned. Other species already have genomes available. They published in Genome Biology and Evolution under the titleGenome Expression Balance in a Triploid Trihybrid Vertebrate.

Their starting point…