22. January 2021
New publi­ca­tion by Axel Meyer
© Hector Fellow Academy

A study by Axel Meyer was published as an open access paper in the journal Nature

The article titled " Giant lungfish genome eluci­dates the conquest of land by verte­brates” deals with the closest living fish relatives of humans, the lungfishes. Using cutting-edge DNA sequenc­ing technolo­gies, a group of labora­to­ries led by Hector Fellow Axel Meyer, succeeded in fully sequenc­ing the genome of the Australian lungfish. The genome is nearly 14 times larger than that of humans and the largest animal genome sequenced to date with a total size of more than 43 billion DNA build­ing blocks.

The analy­sis of the research group provides valuable insights into the genetic and devel­op­men­tal evolu­tion­ary devel­op­ments that made it possi­ble for fish to colonize land. The findings were obtained by scien­tists from the univer­si­ties of Constance, Würzburg, Hamburg and Vienna that cooper­ated to expand our under­stand­ing of this major evolu­tion­ary transi­tion in the Devon­ian more than 420 million years ago.