Comparative inner ear transcriptome analysis between the Rickett’s big-footed bats (Myotis ricketti) and the greater short-nosed fruit bats (Cynopterus sphinx)
- Equal contributors
Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Technology, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
BMC Genomics 2013, 14:916 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-916Published: 23 December 2013
Bats have aroused great interests of researchers for the sake of their advanced echolocation system. However, this highly specialized trait is not characteristic of Old World fruit bats.
To comprehensively explore the underlying molecular basis between echolocating and non-echolocating bats, we employed a sequence-based approach to compare the inner ear expression difference between the Rickett’s big-footed bat (Myotis ricketti, echolocating bat) and the Greater short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx, non-echolocating bat). De novo sequence assemblies were developed for both species. The results showed that the biological implications of up-regulated genes in M. ricketti were significantly over-represented in biological process categories such as ‘cochlea morphogenesis’, ‘inner ear morphogenesis’ and ‘sensory perception of sound’, which are consistent with the inner ear morphological and physiological differentiation between the two bat species. Moreover, the expression of TMC1 gene confirmed its important function in echolocating bats.
Our work presents the first transcriptome comparison between echolocating and non-echolocating bats, and provides information about the genetic basis of their distinct hearing traits.