Origins and evolution of extreme life span in Pacific Ocean rockfishes

Science. 2021 Nov 12;374(6569):842-847. doi: 10.1126/science.abg5332. Epub 2021 Nov 11.


Pacific Ocean rockfishes (genus Sebastes) exhibit extreme variation in life span, with some species being among the most long-lived extant vertebrates. We de novo assembled the genomes of 88 rockfish species and from these identified repeated signatures of positive selection in DNA repair pathways in long-lived taxa and 137 longevity-associated genes with direct effects on life span through insulin signaling and with pleiotropic effects through size and environmental adaptations. A genome-wide screen of structural variation reveals copy number expansions in the immune modulatory butyrophilin gene family in long-lived species. The evolution of different rockfish life histories is coupled to genetic diversity and reshapes the mutational spectrum driving segregating CpG→TpG variants in long-lived species. These analyses highlight the genetic innovations that underlie life history trait adaptations and, in turn, how they shape genomic diversity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Butyrophilins / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Gene Dosage
  • Genetic Pleiotropy
  • Genetic Speciation
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Immunomodulation / genetics
  • Life History Traits
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Perciformes / genetics*
  • Perciformes / physiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Butyrophilins