The first transcriptome of Italian wall lizard, a new tool to infer about the Island Syndrome

<div><p>Some insular lizards show a high degree of differentiation from their conspecific mainland populations, like Licosa island lizards, which are described as affected by Reversed Island Syndrome (RIS). In previous works, we demonstrated that some traits of RIS, as melanization, depend on a differential expression of gene encoding melanocortin receptors. To better understand the basis of syndrome, and providing raw data for future investigations, we generate the first <i>de novo</i> transcriptome of the Italian wall lizard. Comparing mainland and island transcriptomes, we link differences in life-traits to differential gene expression. Our results, taking together testis and brain sequences, generated 275,310 and 269,885 transcripts, 18,434 and 21,606 proteins in Gene Ontology annotation, for mainland and island respectively. Variant calling analysis identified about the same number of SNPs in island and mainland population. Instead, through a differential gene expression analysis we found some putative genes involved in syndrome more expressed in insular samples like <i>Major Histocompatibility Complex class I</i>, <i>Immunoglobulins</i>, <i>Melanocortin 4 receptor</i>, <i>Neuropeptide Y</i> and <i>Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen</i>.</p></div>