Record-breaking lungfish genome reveals how vertebrates conquered land

380 million years ago, fish started to crawl out of the water to colonise land. The Australian lungfish – an endangered, air-breathing fish – is one of the few living relatives of these first land explorers. A team of researchers including the lab of Elly Tanaka (IMP) sequenced its giant genome for the first time, unveiling the species’ unique evolutionary history and striking similarities to land-dwelling vertebrates. The study, published in the journal "Nature", sets a record for the largest animal genome ever sequenced.