De novo transcriptome assembly and annotation of liver and brain tissues of common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand: Transcriptome diversity after decades of population control
Emami-Khoyi, A.; Parbhu, S. P.; Ross, James G.; Murphy, Elaine; Bothwell, Jenn; Monsanto, D. M.; van Vuuren, B. J.; Teske, P. R.; Paterson, Adrian M.
The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), introduced from Australia in the mid-nineteenth century, is an invasive species in New Zealand where it is widespread and forms the largest self-sustained reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) among wild populations. Conservation and agricultural authorities regularly apply a series of population control measures to suppress brushtail possum populations. The evolutionary consequence of more than half a century of intensive population control operations on the species’ genomic diversity and population structure is hindered by a paucity of available genomic resources. This study is the first to characterise the functional content and diversity of brushtail possum liver and brain cerebral cortex transcriptomes. Raw sequences from hepatic cells and cerebral cortex were assembled into 58,001 and 64,735 transcripts respectively. Functional annotation and polymorphism assignment of the assembled transcripts demonstrated a considerable level of variation in the core metabolic pathways that represent potential targets for selection pressure exerted by chemical toxicants. This study suggests that the brushtail possum population in New Zealand harbours considerable variation in metabolic pathways that could potentially promote the development of tolerance against chemical toxicants.... [Show full abstract]