Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Lizard Genome Probed for Clues on First Egg Births on Land

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The green anole lizard, the first reptile to have its genes sequenced, may provide scientists with clues about how animals and humans came to reproduce on land, a study said.

Reptiles, unlike their amphibian and fish cousins, don’t lay eggs in water. By comparing the genome of the green anole lizard, a five-inch sized tree and shrub dweller from the southeastern U.S., with that of other animals, scientists can learn about how reproduction made its way from sea to land, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

Animals that don’t reproduce in water, including humans, birds and reptiles, diverged from those that do about 280 million years ago, the authors wrote. One of the mysteries of evolution, which assumes life’s emergence from the sea, is how land reproducing mammals evolved away from laying eggs, researchers said. The lizard genome may help explain, they said.

“Sometimes you need to be at a certain distance in order to learn about how the human genome evolved,” said Jessica Alföldi, co-first author of the paper and a genome biologist at the Broad Institute, in a statement. “You have to look out further than you were looking previously.”

The institute is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

With the newly-mapped reptile genome, researchers were able to compare proteins found in the lizard eggs with those in chicken eggs and track their evolution. Both bird and lizard egg genes evolved much more rapidly than other genes, they found.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in New York at elopatto@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.