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Domestic goat reference genome sequenced

Y. Dong, M. Xie, Y. Jiang, N. Xiao, X. Du, W. Zhang and others

GOATS are valuable domestic animals and are increasingly being used as animal models in biomedical research. Despite their importance, breeding and genetics studies have been hindered by the lack of a goat reference genome.

This study combined Illumina next generation sequencing technology and whole-genome mapping (an improved high-throughput optical mapping technology) of large DNA molecules to obtain a genome sequence from a three-year-old, female, Yunnan black goat. The instrument used to do this had a chip-like channel formation device, which stretched and immobilised single DNA molecules onto a positively charged glass surface within a disposable cartridge. The assembled genome was 91 per cent of the estimated 2.92 Gb size of the goat genome. The phylogenetic tree constructed from 8325 single copy orthologous genes in goats, cattle, horses, dogs, opposums and human beings suggested that goats shared a common ancestor with cattle, about 23 million years ago.

The researchers also generated data from secondary hair follicles and compared this with data from primary hair follicles from the Inner Mongolia cashmere goat,to shed light on the genetic basis of the formation of …

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