Molecular biology studies on the coelacanth: a review

Modisakeng, K.W. and Amemiya, C.T. and Dorrington, R.A. and Blatch, G.L. (2006) Molecular biology studies on the coelacanth: a review. South African Journal of Science, 102 (September/October). pp. 479-485. ISSN 0038-2353




The discovery of the African coelacanth in 1938 and subsequently the Indonesian coelacanth in 1998 has resulted in a keen interest in molecular studies on the coelacanth. A major focus has been on the phylogenetic position of the coelacanth. Lobe-finned fish such as the coelacanth are thought to be at the base of the evolutionary branch of fish leading to tetrapods. These studies have further aimed to resolve the phylogenetic relationship of extant lobe-finned fish (two coelacanth species and the lungfishes) to vertebrates. Notwithstanding the lack of readily accessible good-quality coelacanth tissue, several major contributions to coelacanth molecular studies and biology have been possible. The mitochondrial genome sequences of both species of the coelacanth suggest that they diverged from one another 40–30 million years ago. A number of large gene families such as the HOX, protocadherin and heat shock protein clusters have been characterized. Furthermore, the recent successful construction of a large-insert (150–200 kilobase) genomic library of the Indonesian coelacanth will prove to be an invaluable tool in both comparative and functional genomics. Here we summarize and evaluate the current status of molecular research, published and databased, for both the African (Latimeria chalumnae) and the Indonesian (Latimeria menadoensis) coelacanth.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae, Latimeria menadoensis, proteins, molecular chaperones, heat shock proteins
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
ID Code:555
Deposited By: Ms Vivien Botha
Deposited On:06 Mar 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
923 full-text download(s) since 06 Mar 2007
130 full-text download(s) in the past 12 months
More statistics...

Repository Staff Only: item control page