Ochkalova S., Korchagin V., Vergun A., Urin A., Zilov D.S., Ryakhovsky S.S., Girnyk A., Martirosyan I., Zhernakova D.V., Arakelyan M., Danielyan F., Kliver S., Brukhin V., Komissarov A.S., Ryskov A.
The extant reptiles are one of the most diverse clades among terrestrial vertebrates and one of a few groups with instances of parthenogenesis. Due to the hybrid origin of parthenogenetic species, reference genomes of the parental species as well as of the parthenogenetic progeny are indispensable to explore the genetic foundations of parthenogenetic reproduction. Here, we report on the first genome assembly of rock lizard Darevskia valentini, a paternal species for several parthenogenetic lineages. The novel genome was used in the reconstruction of the comprehensive phylogeny of Squamata inferred independently from 7369 trees of single-copy orthologs and a supermatrix of 378 conserved proteins. We also investigated Hox clusters, the loci that are often regarded as playing an important role in the speciation of animal groups with drastically diverse morphology. We demonstrated that Hox clusters of D. valentini are invaded with transposons and contain the HoxC1 gene that has been considered to be lost in the amniote ancestor. This study provides confirmation for previous works and releases new genomic data that will contribute to future discoveries on the mechanisms of parthenogenesis as well as support comparative studies among reptiles.