Friday, April 14, 2017
Creating accurate reference genomes is important to understanding the genetics of humans and other vertebrates; it can be used to help track genetic influence of health and to facilitate the breeding of optimum traits in livestock.
Currently, there are three methods of doing this; these are PacBio sequencing, optical mapping, and Hi-C; however, each of these techniques are time-consuming, costly, and, in the case of previous goat genomes, incomplete and fragmented. However, by combining these techniques in a single go, researchers were able to sequence the genome of a male goat; according to the actual research article, the genome produced was approximately a 400 fold improvement over previous attempts. In addition, previous attempts centered largely on female goats because of their double X sex chromosomes, which makes this endeavor all the more noteworthy. The researchers admit that there is still work to be done with improving misassembled scaffolding and working on improving the sequencing of the Y chromosome, but this overall serves promise to further increase the accessibility of genomic sequencing technologies.
This applies to class in that we have previously discussed the initial costs of sequencing the human genome through the Human Genome Project and how costs have been declining over the years. This is just another step in this ongoing process. It also complements techniques learned thus far, such as PCR and SNPs, in arriving to quick genomic analyses.
https://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v49/n4/full/ng.3802.html (Actual article)