Eastern water dragon genome

The Eastern water dragon (Physignathus/Intellagama lesueurii) is a subspecies of water dragon broadly distributed throughout the whole East coast of Australia. They are active and can be seen throughout the warmer months around healthy waterways. They are protected in all States and not listed as threatened

Male Eastern Water Dragon, Intellagama lesueurii, at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Queensland. Image: Chris Hosking, source: Australian Museum

The genus Physignathus is basal to the Australian Agamid radiations. It has the primitive chromosome arrangement of 12 macrochromosomes and 24 microchromosomes, and so is of particular interest in the study of chromosomal evolution in the Agamidae. The species has been subject to decade-long intensive ecological and behavioural studies, currently experiencing emerging fungal infection. Minimal genomic resource exists, which is an impediment to research into the genus relevant to broader range of taxa and questions.

Project coordinator:

  • Celine Frere (University of Sunshine Coast)
  • Dan Powell (University of Sunshine Coast)

Project collaborators:

  • Janine Deakin (University of Canberra)
  • Tariq Ezaz (University of Canberra)

References cited:

  • Frère, C.H., Prentis, P.J., Ezaz, T. et al. (2012) Isolation and characterisation of novel microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA markers for the Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii). Conservation Genet Resource, 4, 113–116.