The Genetic Basis of Morphological Diversity in Domesticated Goldfish

Curr Biol. 2020 Jun 22;30(12):2260-2274.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.04.034. Epub 2020 May 8.


Although domesticated goldfish strains exhibit highly diversified phenotypes in morphology, the genetic basis underlying these phenotypes is poorly understood. Here, based on analysis of transposable elements in the allotetraploid goldfish genome, we found that its two subgenomes have evolved asymmetrically since a whole-genome duplication event in the ancestor of goldfish and common carp. We conducted whole-genome sequencing of 27 domesticated goldfish strains and wild goldfish. We identified more than 60 million genetic variations and established a population genetic structure of major goldfish strains. Genome-wide association studies and analysis of strain-specific variants revealed genetic loci associated with several goldfish phenotypes, including dorsal fin loss, long-tail, telescope-eye, albinism, and heart-shaped tail. Our results suggest that accumulated mutations in the asymmetrically evolved subgenomes led to generation of diverse phenotypes in the goldfish domestication history. This study is a key resource for understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity among goldfish strains.

Keywords: Cyprinidae; asymmetric subgenome evolution; domestication; genome-wide association study; goldfish; strains; whole-genome duplication; whole-genome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Domestication*
  • Gene Duplication*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Goldfish / anatomy & histology
  • Goldfish / genetics*
  • Phenotype*
  • Tetraploidy


  • DNA Transposable Elements