Kangaroo genome mapped for first time

November 19th, 2008 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 19 (IANS) Researchers have launched the world’s first detailed map of the kangaroo genome. The map and sequence will open up new areas of research into how genes are turned on and off during development of all mammals. Kangaroo Genomics (KanGO) director Jenny Graves said researchers used the map to solve fundamental genetic puzzles, like discovering the gene that controls the sex of a baby, and overturning theories of the origin of our blood proteins.

“A good map is crucial for finding our way around a new genome,” said Graves, who divides her time between Australian National University (ANU) and University of Melbourne.

“It enables us to explore how the genome of mammals - including humans - is organised, how it functions, and how it evolved. Now the world can use information on kangaroo genes and sequences to explore how mammals develop and function,” she said.

Researchers said the international race to sequence the genomes of significant species is driven by the power of genome comparisons - particularly of species that are distantly related - to reveal secrets of the genome in humans, as well as other mammals, according to a University of Melbourne release.

DNA sequence obtained by Australian Genome Research Foundation (AGRF) with funding from the Victorian government will be arranged using the genome map.

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