Guojie Zhang

Guojie Zhang
Zhejiang University · Evolutionary & Organismal Biology Research Center

PhD

About

346
Publications
129,318
Reads
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26,694
Citations
Introduction
Guojie Zhang currently works at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen. Guojie does research in Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Neuroscience.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
University of Copenhagen
Position
  • Professor
August 2012 - March 2017
University of Copenhagen
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
April 2005 - present
Beijing Genomics Institute

Publications

Publications (346)
Article
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Ant colonies with permanent division of labour between castes and highly distinct roles of the sexes have been conceptualized to be superorganisms, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate caste/sex-specific behavioural specialization have remained obscure. Here we characterized the brain cell repertoire of queens, gynes (virgin queen...
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Egg-laying mammals (monotremes) are a sister clade of therians (placental mammals and marsupials) and a key clade to understand mammalian evolution. They are classified into platypus and echidna, which exhibit distinct ecological features such as habitats and diet. Chemosensory genes, which encode sensory receptors for taste and smell, are believed...
Article
Significance The controversy over the taxonomic identity of the eggs exploited by Australia’s first people around 50,000 y ago is resolved. The birds that laid these eggs are extinct, and distinguishing between two main candidates, a giant flightless “mihirung” Genyornis and a large megapode Progura , had proven impossible using morphological and g...
Preprint
Ant colonies are higher-level organisms consisting of specialized reproductive and non-reproductive individuals that differentiate early in development, similar to germ-soma segregation in bilateral Metazoa. Analogous to diverging cell lines, developmental differentiation of individual ants has often been considered in epigenetic terms, but the set...
Preprint
The current human reference genome, GRCh38, represents over 20 years of effort to generate a high-quality assembly, which has greatly benefited society. However, it still has many gaps and errors, and does not represent a biological human genome since it is a blend of multiple individuals. Recently, a high-quality telomere-to-telomere reference gen...
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Three principal methods are under discussion as possible pathways to “true” de-extinction; i.e., back-breeding, cloning, and genetic engineering.¹,² Of these, while the latter approach is most likely to apply to the largest number of extinct species, its potential is constrained by the degree to which the extinct species genome can be reconstructed...
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Ants are highly diverse social insects living in colonies consisted of up to millions of individuals with reproductive division of labors. Due to the interests in disclosing the genetic and epigenetic regulation mechanisms underlying the distinct developmental trajectories between castes and division of labor in colonies, many ant species have rece...
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Life on Earth has evolved from initial simplicity to the astounding complexity we experience today. Bacteria and archaea have largely excelled in metabolic diversification, but eukaryotes additionally display abundant morphological innovation. How have these innovations come about and what constraints are there on the origins of novelty and the con...
Article
A global international initiative, such as the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), requires both agreement and coordination on standards to ensure that the collective effort generates rapid progress toward its goals. To this end, the EBP initiated five technical standards committees comprising volunteer members from the global genomics scientific commun...
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Progress in genome sequencing now enables the large-scale generation of reference genomes. Various international initiatives aim to generate reference genomes representing global biodiversity. These genomes provide unique insights into genomic diversity and architecture, thereby enabling comprehensive analyses of population and functional genomics,...
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In the past decade, several studies have estimated the human per-generation germline mutation rate using large pedigrees. More recently, estimates for various non-human species have been published. However, methodological differences among studies in detecting germline mutations and estimating mutation rates make direct comparisons difficult. Here,...
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Migration allows animals to exploit spatially separated and seasonally available resources at a continental to global scale. However, responding to global climatic changes might prove challenging, especially for long-distance intercontinental migrants. During glacial periods, when conditions became too harsh for breeding in the north, avian migrant...
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Penguins (Sphenisciformes) are an iconic order of flightless, diving seabirds distributed across a large latitudinal range in the Southern Hemisphere. The extensive area over which penguins are endemic is likely to have fostered variation in pathogen pressure, which in turn will have imposed differential selective pressures on the penguin immune sy...
Preprint
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The Nile rat (Avicanthis niloticus) is an important animal model for biomedical research, including the study of diurnal rhythms and type 2 diabetes. Here, we report a 2.5 Gb, chromosome-level reference genome assembly with fully resolved parental haplotypes, generated with the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP). The assembly is highly contiguous, wi...
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Domestication of animals can lead to profound phenotypic modifications within short evolutionary time periods, and for many species behavioral selection is likely at the forefront of this process. Animal studies have strongly implicated that the gut microbiome plays a major role in host behavior and cognition through the microbiome–gut–brain axis....
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The lack of consensus methods to estimate germline mutation rates from pedigrees has led to substantial differences in computational pipelines in the published literature. Here, we answer Susanne Pfeifer's opinion piece discussing the pipeline choices of our recent article estimating the germline mutation rate of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). W...
Article
The Seychelles Magpie-Robin Copsychus sechellarum is an IUCN Red-List Endangered species endemic to the Seychelles, whose population was reduced to eight individuals on a single island in the 1960s. Translocations from the remaining population to four additional islands have been an integral factor in their recovery, but the potential genetic conse...
Article
The Sardinian dhole (Cynotherium sardous) was an iconic and unique canid species that was endemic to Sardinia and Corsica until it became extinct at the end of the Late Pleistocene. Given its peculiar dental morphology, small body size, and high level of endemism, several extant canids have been proposed as possible relatives of the Sardinian dhole...
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Ants are among the best-known insects, but the morphology and development of their larvae are rarely studied in a systematic manner. Precise information on larval development is needed not only to understand ontogenetic development of caste phenotypes but also ultimately to allow a better understanding of the integrated development of entire ant co...
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Dogs have been essential to life in the Siberian Arctic for over 9,500 y, and this tight link between people and dogs continues in Siberian communities. Although Arctic Siberian groups such as the Nenets received limited gene flow from neighboring groups, archaeological evidence suggests that metallurgy and new subsistence strategies emerged in Nor...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the past decade, several studies have estimated the human per-generation germline mutation rate using large pedigrees. More recently, estimates for various non-human species have been published. However, methodological differences among studies in detecting germline mutations and estimating mutation rates make direct comparisons difficult. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Only five species of the once-diverse Rhinocerotidae remain, making the reconstruction of their evolutionary history a challenge to biologists since Darwin. We sequenced genomes from five rhinoceros species (three extinct and two living), which we compared to existing data from the remaining three living species and a range of outgroups. We identif...
Article
Many paleognaths (ratites and tinamous) have a pair of homomorphic ZW sex chromosomes in contrast to the highly differentiated sex chromosomes of most other birds. To understand the evolutionary causes for different tempo of sex chromosome evolution, we produced female genomes of 12 paleognathous species and reconstructed the phylogeny and the evol...
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Background Species domestication is generally characterized by the exploitation of high-impact mutations through processes that involve complex shifting demographics of domesticated species. These include not only inbreeding and artificial selection that may lead to the emergence of evolutionary bottlenecks, but also post-divergence gene flow and i...
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The accurate and complete assembly of both haplotype sequences of a diploid organism is essential to understanding the role of variation in genome functions, phenotypes, and diseases1. Here, using a trio-binning approach, we present a high-quality, diploid reference genome, with both haplotypes assembled independently at the chromosome level, for t...
Article
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Large vertebrates are extremely sensitive to anthropogenic pressure, and their populations are declining fast. The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is a paradigmatic case: this African megaherbivore suffered a remarkable decline in the last 150 years due to human activities. Its subspecies, the northern (NWR) and the southern white rhinoceros...
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Inquiline ants are highly specialized and obligate social parasites that infiltrate and exploit colonies of closely related species. They have evolved many times convergently, are often evolutionarily young lineages, and are almost invariably rare. Focusing on the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex , we compared genomes of three inquiline social par...
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Background: Understanding the rate and pattern of germline mutations is of fundamental importance for understanding evolutionary processes. Results: Here we analyzed 19 parent-offspring trios of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at high sequencing coverage of ∼76× per individual and estimated a mean rate of 0.77 × 10 −8 de novo mutations per site pe...
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Egg-laying mammals (monotremes) are the only extant mammalian outgroup to therians (marsupial and eutherian animals) and provide key insights into mammalian evolution1,2. Here we generate and analyse reference genomes of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), which represent the only two extant monotreme linea...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many genome assemblies have been found to be incomplete and contain mis-assemblies. The Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) has been producing assemblies with an emphasis on being as complete and error-free as possible, utilizing long reads, long-range scaffolding data, new assembly algorithms, and manual curation. Here we evaluate these new vertebrat...
Article
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which in humans leads to the disease COVID-19, has caused global disruption and more than 2 million fatalities since it first emerged in late 2019. As we write, infection rates are at their highest point globally and are rising extremely rapidly in some areas due to more infectious variants. The primary target of S...
Article
Lungfishes are the closest extant relatives of tetrapods and preserve ancestral traits linked with the water-to-land transition. However, their huge genome sizes have hindered understanding of this key transition in evolution. Here, we report a 40-Gb chromosome-level assembly of the African lungfish ( Protopterus annectens) genome, which is the lar...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Sardinian dhole (Cynotherium sardous) was an iconic and unique canid species of canid that was endemic of Sardinia and Corsica until it became extinct at the end of the Late Pleistocene. Given its peculiar dental morphology, small body size and high level of endemism, several canids have been proposed as possible ancestors of the Sardinian dhol...
Preprint
Full-text available
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which in humans leads to the disease COVID-19, has caused global disruption and more than 1.5 million fatalities since it first emerged in late 2019. As we write, infection rates are currently at their highest point globally and are rising extremely rapidly in some areas due to more infectious variants. The primary...
Article
Rich fossil evidence suggests that many traits and functions related to terrestrial evolution were present long before the ancestor of lobe- and ray-finned fishes. Here, we present genome sequences of the bichir, paddlefish, bowfin, and alligator gar, covering all major early divergent lineages of ray-finned fishes. Our analyses show that these spe...
Article
Emu and other ratites are more informative than any other birds in reconstructing the evolution of the ancestral avian or vertebrate karyotype because of their much slower rate of genome evolution. Here we generated a new chromosome-level genome assembly of a female emu, and estimated the tempo of chromosome evolution across major avian phylogeneti...
Article
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Background Ducks have a typical avian karyotype that consists of macro- and microchromosomes, but a pair of much less differentiated ZW sex chromosomes compared to chickens. To elucidate the evolution of chromosome architectures between ducks and chickens, and between birds and mammals, we produced a nearly complete chromosomal assembly of a female...
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Homotherium was a genus of large-bodied scimitar-toothed cats, morphologically distinct from any extant felid species, that went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene [1, 2, 3, 4]. They possessed large, saber-form serrated canine teeth, powerful forelimbs, a sloping back, and an enlarged optic bulb, all of which were key characteristics for predati...
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Background Ants with complex societies have fascinated scientists for centuries. Comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses across ant species and castes have revealed important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying ant caste differentiation. However, most current ant genomes and transcriptomes are highly fragmented and incomplete,...
Article
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New genome assemblies have been arriving at a rapidly increasing pace, thanks to decreases in sequencing costs and improvements in third-generation sequencing technologies1–3. For example, the number of vertebrate genome assemblies currently in the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) database⁴ increased by more than 50% to 1,485 as...
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Whole-genome sequencing projects are increasingly populating the tree of life and characterizing biodiversity1,2,3,4. Sparse taxon sampling has previously been proposed to confound phylogenetic inference5, and captures only a fraction of the genomic diversity. Here we report a substantial step towards the dense representation of avian phylogenetic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Ducks have a typical avian karyotype that consists of macro- and microchromosomes, but a pair of much less differentiated ZW sex chromosomes compared to chicken. To elucidate the evolution of chromosome architectures between duck and chicken, and between birds and mammals, we produced a nearly complete chromosomal assembly of a female Pe...
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The rumen is the hallmark organ of ruminants and hosts a diverse ecosystem of microorganisms that facilitates efficient digestion of plant fibers. We analyzed 897 transcriptomes from three Cetartiodactyla lineages: ruminants, camels and cetaceans, as well as data from ruminant comparative genomics and functional assays to explore the genetic basis...
Article
Genomic imprinting results in parent-of-origin dependent gene expression biased towards either the maternally- or paternally-derived allele at the imprinted locus. The kinship theory of genomic imprinting argues that this unusual expression pattern is a manifestation of intra-genomic conflict between the maternally- and paternally-derived halves of...
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Mineralized dental plaque (calculus) has proven to be an excellent source of ancient biomolecules. Here we present a Mycobacterium leprae genome (6.6-fold), the causative agent of leprosy, recovered via shotgun sequencing of sixteenth-century human dental calculus from an individual from Trondheim, Norway. When phylogenetically placed, this genome...
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Caste differentiation happens early in development to produce gynes as future colony germlines and workers as present colony soma. However, gynes need insemination to become functional queens, a transition that initiates reproductive role differentiation relative to unmated gynes. Here, we analyze the anatomy and transcriptomes of brains during thi...
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Ancient DNA has significantly improved our understanding of the evolution and population history of extinct megafauna. However, few studies have used complete ancient genomes to examine species responses to climate change prior to extinction. The woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) was a cold-adapted megaherbivore widely distributed across...
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The emergence of social organization (eusociality) is a major event in insect evolution. Although previous studies have investigated the mechanisms underlying caste differentiation and social behavior of eusocial insects including ants and honeybees, the molecular circuits governing sociality in these insects remain obscure. In this study, we profi...
Article
For social animals, the genotypes of group members affect the social environment, and thus individual behavior, often indirectly. We used genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to determine the influence of individual vs. group genotypes on aggression in honey bees. Aggression in honey bees arises from the coordinated actions of colony members, pri...
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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Despite the substantial role that chickens have played in human societies across the world, both the geographic and temporal origins of their domestication remain controversial. To address this issue, we analyzed 863 genomes from a worldwide sampling of chickens and representatives of all four species of wild jungle fowl and each of the five subspe...
Article
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Developmental plasticity generates phenotypic variation, but how it contributes to evolutionary change is unclear. Phenotypes of individuals in caste-based (eusocial) societies are particularly sensitive to developmental processes, and the evolutionary origins of eusociality may be rooted in developmental plasticity of ancestral forms. We used an i...
Article
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Goat domestication was critical for agriculture and civilization, but its underlying genetic changes and selection regimes remain unclear. Here, we analyze the genomes of worldwide domestic goats, wild caprid species, and historical remains, providing evidence of an ancient introgression event from a West Caucasian tur-like species to the ancestor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Large vertebrates are extremely sensitive to anthropogenic pressure, and their populations are declining fast. The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is a paradigmatic case: this African megaherbivore suffered a remarkable population reduction in the last 150 years due to human activities. The two white rhinoceros subspecies, the northern (NWR)...
Article
Full-text available
Lions are one of the world’s most iconic megafauna, yet little is known about their temporal and spatial demographic history and population differentiation. We analyzed a genomic dataset of 20 specimens: two ca. 30,000-y-old cave lions ( Panthera leo spelaea ), 12 historic lions ( Panthera leo leo/Panthera leo melanochaita ) that lived between the...
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Full-text available
The spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), one of the largest terrestrial predators native to sub-Saharan Africa, is well known for its matriarchal social system and large-sized social group in which larger females dominate smaller males. Spotted hyenas are highly adaptable predators as they both actively hunt prey and scavenge kills by other predators,...