Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Horse Genome Assembled: Thoroughbred Mare's DNA Code Now Freely Available

Date:
February 7, 2007
Source:
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Summary:
The first draft of the horse genome sequence has been deposited in public databases and is freely available for use by biomedical and veterinary researchers around the globe, leaders of the international Horse Genome Sequencing Project announced today.

Photo of Twilight the horse. NHGRI-supported researchers have sequenced the genome of this Thoroughbred mare from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Credit: Courtesy of Doug Antzak, Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

The first draft of the horse genome sequence has been deposited in public databases and is freely available for use by biomedical and veterinary researchers around the globe, leaders of the international Horse Genome Sequencing Project announced today.

The $15 million effort to sequence the approximately 2.7 billion DNA base pairs in the genome of the horse (Equus caballus) was funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A team led by Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Ph.D., at the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., carried out the sequencing and assembly of the horse genome.

Approximately 300,000 Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) end sequences, which provide continuity when assembling a large genome sequence, were contributed to the horse sequencing project by Ottmar Distl, D.V.M., Ph.D. and Tosso Leeb, Ph.D., from the University of Veterinary Medicine, in Hanover, Germany and Helmut Blφcker, Ph.D., from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany. Production of the BAC end sequences was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the State of Lower Saxony.

Sequencing of the domestic horse genome began in 2006, building upon a 10-year collaborative effort among an international group of scientists to use genomics to address important health issues for equines, known as the Horse Genome Project (http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horsemap/).

The horse whose DNA was used in the sequencing effort is a Thoroughbred mare named Twilight from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Researchers obtained the DNA from a small sample of the animal's blood. Twilight is stabled at the McConville Barn, Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, at Cornell University, with a small herd of horses that have been selected and bred for more than 25 years to study the mechanisms that prevent maternal immunological recognition and destruction of the developing fetus during mammalian pregnancy. The research, conducted by Cornell professor Doug Antczak, V.M.D, Ph.D., and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, has implications in reproduction, clinical organ transplantation and immune regulation.

In addition to sequencing the horse genome, researchers produced a map of horse genetic variation using DNA samples from a variety of modern and ancestral breeds, including the Akel Teke, Andalusian, Arabian, Icelandic, Quarter, Standardbred and Thoroughbred. This map, comprised of 1 million signposts of variation called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, will provide scientists with a genome-wide view of genetic variability in horses and help them identify the genetic contributions to physical and behavioral differences, as well as to disease susceptibility. There are more than 80 known genetic conditions in horses that are genetically similar to disorders seen in humans, including musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The SNPs are available at the Broad Institute web site (http://www.broad.mit.edu/mammals/horse/snp) and will be available shortly from NCBI's Single Nucleotide Polymorphism database, dbSNP (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/SNP).

The initial sequencing assembly is based on 6.8-fold coverage of the horse genome, which means, on average, each base pair has been sequenced almost seven times over. Researchers can access the horse genome sequence data through the following public databases: GenBank (http://www.ncbi.nih.gov/Genbank) at NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); NCBI's Map Viewer (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov); UCSC Genome Browser (http://www.genome.gucsc.edu) at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and the Ensembl Genome Browser (http://www.ensembl.org) at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England. The data is also available from the Broad Institute Web site (http://www.broad.mit.edu/ftp/pub/assemblies/mammals/horse/).

Over the next several months, researchers plan to further improve the accuracy of the horse genome sequence and expect to deposit an even higher resolution assembly in public databases. Comparing the horse and human genomes will help medical researchers learn more about the human genome and will also serve as a tool for veterinary researchers to better understand the diseases that affect equines. A publication analyzing the horse genome sequence and its implications for horse population genetics is being planned for the future.

To learn more about the expanding field of comparative genomics, go to http://www.genome.gov/11509542. A complete list of organisms and their sequencing status can be viewed at http://www.genome.gov/10002154.

NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Additional information about NHGRI can be found at its Web site, http://www.genome.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. "Horse Genome Assembled: Thoroughbred Mare's DNA Code Now Freely Available." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070207101856.htm>.
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. (2007, February 7). Horse Genome Assembled: Thoroughbred Mare's DNA Code Now Freely Available. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070207101856.htm
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. "Horse Genome Assembled: Thoroughbred Mare's DNA Code Now Freely Available." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070207101856.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins