Rapid genomic expansion and purging associated with habitat transitions in a Glade of beach crustaceans (Amphipoda: Haustoriidae) Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Dramatic genome size variation exists across the Tree of Life. Some crustacean groups, such as amphipods, have genome sizes that correlate with body size, temperature, and water depth, indicating that genome sizes may be constrained due to physiological pressures. This may indicate that a general genome-temperature-size rule exists in ectotherms, in which body-size and latitude may be predictive of genome size. We examined the relationship between genome size, repetitive content, and environmental variables on a clade of sand-burrowing amphipods (Haustoriidae) that are distributed across the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic. We uncovered a 6-fold genome size variation within Haustoriidae, a substantial amount considering this clade is less than 7 million years old. Unlike previous studies, we find no correlation between genome size and latitude, but do uncover a significant relationship between genome size and body length. Further, we find that the proportion of repetitive content predicts genome size, and that the largest genomes appear to be driven by expansions of LINE elements. We also found evidence of genomic purging and body size reduction in two lineages that have independently colonized warm brackish waters, possibly indicating a strong physiological constraint of transitioning from surf-swept beaches to protected bays.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Hancock, Z. B., Hardin, F. O., Murthy, A., Hillhouse, A., & Johnston, J. S.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Hancock, Zachary B||Hardin, Faith O||Murthy, Archana||Hillhouse, Andrew||Johnston, J Spencer

publication date

  • January 2021