Among the findings from new genome assemblies, bats have lost genes related to immunity, which may play a role in how they transmit viruses to humans and other animals. (Photo of a Greater Horseshoe bat by Marie Jullion, via Wikipedia)

Vertebrate Genomes Project Publishes Lessons Learned From 16 Reference Genome Assemblies

The Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) today (April 28) announced their flagship study including high-quality, near error-free, and near complete reference genome assemblies for 16 species representing six major lineages of vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, monotremes, amphibians and fish. The lessons learned from these first 16 genome assemblies will help guide the project in their goal of producing reference genomes for the approximately 70,000 living vertebrates. The availability of this genomic data would have wide applications from basic research to conservation.

Harris Lewin, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, who serves on the VGP’s leadership council, and postdoctoral researcher Joana Damas are among the coauthors on the Nature paper.

Read the full press release written by Andy Fell here and the publication in Nature here.

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