Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Decoding the genome of the camel

Date:
May 28, 2013
Source:
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Summary:
By sequencing the genome of a Bactrian camel, researchers have made a significant contribution to population genetic research on camels. The study has laid the foundation for future scientific work on these enigmatic desert animals. A blood sample from a single Bactrian camel with the evocative name of "Mozart" provided the genetic raw material for the work.

Camel "Mozart"
Credit: Copyright Thomas Lipp

By sequencing the genome of a Bactrian camel, researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna have made a significant contribution to population genetic research on camels. The study has laid the foundation for future scientific work on these enigmatic desert animals. A blood sample from a single Bactrian camel with the evocative name of "Mozart" provided the genetic raw material for the work, which was undertaken by Pamela Burger at the Institute of Population Genetics.

Camels are divided into two species, the one-humped dromedary and the two-humped Bactrian camel. Whether equipped with one or two humps, camels are precious in desert regions throughout the world. Their ability to carry heavy loads over long distances makes them ideally suited for transportation. In addition, camels are able to survive for weeks in hostile environments without food and water. Despite the extremely arid conditions, camels still provide enough milk for human consumption and also have an important role as a source of meat. Camels are specialists when it comes to adapting to the environment and have been characterized as sustainable food producers.

Focusing on camel domestication

Pamela Burger heads one of the few research groups in Europe that study camel genetics. Burger and her colleagues are primarily interested in the domestication of camels, which took place around 3,000 to 6,000 years ago. Genetic data provide important clues on the breeding strategies and selection processes that were applied by humans at that time. The DNA code also represents a rich resource for addressing questions on phylogenetic relationships between animals. Burger is one of the first scientists to sequence large parts of the genome of a Bactrian camel and make it available to the public.

Milestone in camel genetics

Until recently, the genetic code of the Camel had not been fully analysed. Genetic research on these animals was therefore difficult or even impossible. In contrast, the entire genetic information of the human genome was available as long ago as 2003 and the genetic code of various animals and plants is publicly available, giving researchers access to an enormous set of data. To date, the lack of basic genetic data has severely hampered studies of camel genetics. Pamela Burger and her team are pioneers in presenting this essential dataset.

Relationship among the one- and the two-humped

The scientists were able to find 116,000 so-called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in the genetic sequence of the Bactrian camel. SNPs are single base-pair changes within a DNA strand that provide the basis for studying relationships among species and between single animals. The genetic relationship between the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) and the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) is close. 85 per cent of the genomic sequences expressed in the dromedary can be found in the Bactrian camel. Burger explains, "Mozart's genome provides us with the basis for further comparative research on other camelids such as dromedary, lama and alpaca."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. A. Burger, N. Palmieri. Estimating the Population Mutation Rate from a de novo Assembled Bactrian Camel Genome and Cross-Species Comparison with Dromedary ESTs. Journal of Heredity, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/jhered/est005

Cite This Page:

Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. "Decoding the genome of the camel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528091615.htm>.
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. (2013, May 28). Decoding the genome of the camel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528091615.htm
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. "Decoding the genome of the camel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528091615.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) — The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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