2

Where the wild things were: intrinsic and extrinsic extinction predictors in the world's most depleted mammal fauna

Preventing extinctions requires understanding macroecological patterns of vulnerability or persistence. However, correlates of risk can be nonlinear, within-species risk varies geographically, and current-day threats cannot reveal drivers of past …

Pervasive genomic signatures of local adaptation to altitude across highland specialist Andean hummingbird populations

Populations along steep environmental gradients are subject to differentiating selection that can result in local adaptation, despite countervailing gene flow and genetic drift. In montane systems, where species are often restricted to narrow ranges …

Dietary Diversification and Specialisation in New World Bats Facilitated by Early Molecular Evolution

Dietary adaptation is a major feature of phenotypic and ecological diversification, yet the genetic basis of dietary shifts is poorly understood. Among mammals, Neotropical leaf-nosed bats (family Phyllostomidae) show unmatched diversity in diet; …

Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Volume 9: Bats

Book Review.

Six reference-quality genomes reveal evolution of bat adaptations

Bats possess extraordinary adaptations, including flight, echolocation, extreme longevity and unique immunity. High-quality genomes are crucial for understanding the molecular basis and evolution of these traits. Here we incorporated long-read sequencing and state-of-the-art scaffolding protocols1 to generate, to our knowledge, the first reference-quality genomes of six bat species (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Rousettus aegyptiacus, Phyllostomus discolor, Myotis myotis, Pipistrellus kuhlii and Molossus molossus). We integrated gene projections from our ‘Tool to infer Orthologs from Genome Alignments’ (TOGA) software with de novo and homology gene predictions as well as short- and long-read transcriptomics to generate highly complete gene annotations. To resolve the phylogenetic position of bats within Laurasiatheria, we applied several phylogenetic methods to comprehensive sets of orthologous protein-coding and noncoding regions of the genome, and identified a basal origin for bats within Scrotifera. Our genome-wide screens revealed positive selection on hearing-related genes in the ancestral branch of bats, which is indicative of laryngeal echolocation being an ancestral trait in this clade. We found selection and loss of immunity-related genes (including pro-inflammatory NF-κB regulators) and expansions of anti-viral APOBEC3 genes, which highlights molecular mechanisms that may contribute to the exceptional immunity of bats. Genomic integrations of diverse viruses provide a genomic record of historical tolerance to viral infection in bats. Finally, we found and experimentally validated bat-specific variation in microRNAs, which may regulate bat-specific gene-expression programs. Our reference-quality bat genomes provide the resources required to uncover and validate the genomic basis of adaptations of bats, and stimulate new avenues of research that are directly relevant to human health and disease1.

Molecular adaptation and convergent evolution of frugivory in Old World and neotropical fruit bats

Although cases of independent adaptation to the same dietary niche have been documented in mammalian ecology, the molecular correlates of such shifts are seldom known. Here, we used genomewide analyses of molecular evolution to examine two lineages …

Pandemics’ historical role in creating inequality

In her News Feature “An unequal blow” (15 May, p. 700), L. Wade explores how past pandemics disproportionately affected marginalized groups. It is important to recognize that in addition to exacerbating marginalization, pandemics set the stage for …

Foraging shifts and visual preadaptation in ecologically diverse bats

Changes in behaviour may initiate shifts to new adaptive zones, with physical adap- tations for novel environments evolving later. While new mutations are commonly considered engines of adaptive change, sensory evolution enabling access to new …

The allometry of daily energy expenditure in hummingbirds: an energy budget approach

Within‐clade allometric relationships represent standard laws of scaling between energy and size, and their outliers provide new avenues for physiological and ecological research. According to the metabolic level boundaries hypothesis, metabolic …

Curb land grabbing to save the Amazon

Journal letter to the editor. Despite international conservation efforts 1, deforestation in the Amazon continues apace. While the current focus is on immediate responses to the crisis, the roots of deforestation are deep, institutional and societal. …