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Title: Adaptive Evolution of 'Leptin' in Heterothermic Bats
Contributor(s): Yuan, Lihong (author); Zhao, Xudong (author); Lin, Benfu (author); Rossiter, Stephen J (author); He, Lingjiang (author); Zuo, Xueguo (author); He, Guimei (author); Jones, Gareth (author); Geiser, Fritz  (author)orcid ; Zhang, Shuyi (author)
Publication Date: 2011
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027189Open Access Link
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Abstract: Heterothermy (hibernation and daily torpor) is a key strategy that animals use to survive in harsh conditions and is widely employed by bats, which are found in diverse habitats and climates. Bats comprise more than 20% of all mammals and although heterothermy occurs in divergent lineages of bats, suggesting it might be an ancestral condition, its evolutionary history is complicated by complex phylogeographic patterns. Here, we use 'Leptin', which regulates lipid metabolism and is crucial for thermogenesis of hibernators, as molecular marker and combine physiological, molecular and biochemical analyses to explore the possible evolutionary history of heterothermy in bat. The two tropical fruit bats examined here were homeothermic; in contrast, the two tropical insectivorous bats were clearly heterothermic. Molecular evolutionary analyses of the Leptin gene revealed positive selection in the ancestors of all bats, which was maintained or further enhanced the lineages comprising mostly heterothermic species. In contrast, we found evidence of relaxed selection in homeothermic species. Biochemical assays of bat 'Leptin' on the activity on adipocyte degradation revealed that 'Leptin' in heterothermic bats was more lipolytic than in homeothermic bats. This shows that evolutionary sequence changes in this protein are indeed functional and support the interpretation of our physiological results and the molecular evolutionary analyses. Our combined data strongly support the hypothesis that heterothermy is the ancestral state of bats and that this involved adaptive changes in 'Leptin'. Subsequent loss of heterothermy in some tropical lineages of bats likely was associated with range and dietary shifts.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: PLoS One, 6(11), p. 1-9
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of Publication: San Francisco, United States of America
ISSN: 1932-6203
Field of Research (FOR): 060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
060802 Animal Cell and Molecular Biology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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