GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1118946653
From: "Dale E. Reddick" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] NHGRI selects 13 new animal species for large-scale DNAsequencing.
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 14:32:54 -0400
Here's a short commentary from today's issue of Nature regarding the
efforts of NHGRI.
Nature 435, 867 (16 June 2005) | doi: 10.1038/435867a
Look out for rough drafts of mammal genomes
Erika Check, Washington DC
Top of page
Biologists disappointed that many new genome project species will get
only low-density coverage.
The scaly pangolin, the wide-eyed bushbaby and a deadly mosquito are
among 13 new organisms to be sequenced by the US National Human Genome
Research Institute (NHGRI) in Bethesda, Maryland.
But not all of their genomes will be read completely. The agency, which
has 61 genomes finished or in the pipeline, said on 7 June that it will
fund a strategy called low-density draft coverage for eight of the
mammals in the new batch, including the pangolin (Manis spp.) and
bushbaby (Otolemur garnettii). The approach has been used on six animals
already, including a hedgehog-like animal known as a tenrec (Echinops
telfairi). The process can reveal mammals' evolution by providing
information from distantly related species.
Low-density coverage will help biologists to find the genome regions
that have changed least through time. But many scientists are
disappointed because it may not address one of the hot areas of
genomics: large differences in genomes, such as rearrangements of DNA or
changes in the number of copies of particular regions of DNA (see Nature
435, 252−253; 2005). Finding such regions is likely to require
high-quality, complete genome assemblies. To address this, the NHGRI
says it will fund a project to sequence part of the gibbon genome, which
seems to contain lots of genomic rearrangements.
But genome biologists are pleased, at least, that new species are up for
sequencing. They accept that, in many cases, low-density coverage is the
best they will get for the time being. "At today's cost and effort we're
not going to see a finished genome for the tenrec," says Richard Gibbs,
director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of
Medicine in Houston, Texas. But he says he hopes to find out more about
the tenrec and its relatives as sequencing costs drop. "This is a
beginning, not an end, to exploring those other species."
>As a follow -up to this interesting aspect of DNA, I have just completed a
>great book written in a lively and understandable way on the evolution of all
>living beings--plant, animal, fungi, and bacteria. It was fascinating. The title
>"Ancestor's Tale" by Richard Dawkins. I really learned a lot and there are
>many references to DNA. Margretta
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