Scientists sequence domestic cat genome

November 14th, 2007 - 8:14 am ICT by admin  
Cinnamon is one of several mammals that are currently being analyzed using “light” (two-fold) genome sequence coverage. Its well-documented lineage can be traced back several generations to Sweden, say the researchers.

In order to make sense of Cinnamon’s raw sequence data, a multi-centre collaboration of scientists leveraged information from previously sequenced mammalian genomes as well as previous gene-mapping studies in the cat.

The researchers found that Cinnamon’s sequences spanned about 65 per cent of the euchromatic (gene-containing) regions of the feline genome.

The similarity between the cat genome and six recently completed mammalian genomes-human, chimpanzee, mouse, rat, dog, and cow-enabled the scientists to identify 20,285 putative genes in the cat genome.

The comparison also revealed hundreds of chromosomal rearrangements that have occurred among the different lineages of mammals, as they diverged from a diminutive ancestor that roamed the earth among the dinosaurs some 100 million years ago.

According to The Humane Society, the genome sequence analysis is certainly expected to lead to health benefits for domestic cats.

Domestic cats possess over 250 naturally occurring hereditary disorders, many of which are similar to genetic pathologies in humans.

The researchers say that the cat genome sequence data has helped them identify several hundred thousand genomic variants, which can be used to determine the genetic basis for common hereditary diseases.

These variants will also be useful for parentage testing, forensic analysis, and studies of evolution, including the reconstruction of domestication processes, fancy breed development, and ecological adaptation among the great roaring cats.

The sequencing data were generated by Agencourt Bioscience Corporation, a Beckman Coulter company. (ANI)

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