A deep dive into the sea otter and giant otter genomes

Our deep dive into the sea otter and giant otter genomes is out today in Molecular Biology & Evolution (early access)!

We investigated phylogenetics, positive selection, loss of olfactory receptor genes, genetic diversity, demography, and deleterious variation in these remarkable animals.

We couldn’t have learned so much about otter evolution without the help of Gidget the sea otter and our fantastic collaborators at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Smithsonian, Broad, UCSC, Texas A&M, and beyond!

Check it out, or wait for the fancy typeset version! (I particularly love the beautiful otter drawings by recent UCLA graduate Joann Shih!)

[ Gidget’s portrait courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium ]

Investigating sea otter and giant otter demographic history and burden of deleterious variation in our new paper!