Genome analysis reveals insights into physiology and longevity of the Brandt's bat Myotis brandtii

Nat Commun. 2013:4:2212. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3212.


Bats account for one-fifth of mammalian species, are the only mammals with powered flight, and are among the few animals that echolocate. The insect-eating Brandt's bat (Myotis brandtii) is the longest-lived bat species known to date (lifespan exceeds 40 years) and, at 4-8 g adult body weight, is the most extreme mammal with regard to disparity between body mass and longevity. Here we report sequencing and analysis of the Brandt's bat genome and transcriptome, which suggest adaptations consistent with echolocation and hibernation, as well as altered metabolism, reproduction and visual function. Unique sequence changes in growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors are also observed. The data suggest that an altered growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 axis, which may be common to other long-lived bat species, together with adaptations such as hibernation and low reproductive rate, contribute to the exceptional lifespan of the Brandt's bat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Chiroptera / genetics*
  • Echolocation / physiology
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Hibernation / genetics
  • Hibernation / physiology
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / genetics*
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / genetics*
  • Reproduction / genetics
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/ANKR00000000
  • GEO/GSE42297