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article imageLatest genome sequencing research

By Tim Sandle     Sep 13, 2014 in Science
Scientists continue to make advances with genome sequencing. Digital Journal has reviewed the latest research and some of the new creatures to be typed and categorized.
Whole genome sequencing is process that determines the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome at a single time. This entails sequencing all of an organism's chromosomal DNA as well as DNA contained in the mitochondria (the energy powerhouse of cells). Such studies are of particular interest researchers interested in evolutionary biology.
Almost any biological sample containing a full copy of the DNA can provide the genetic material necessary for full genome sequencing. However, despite technological advances, the process is lengthy. The examples below will hopefully provide an indication as to why such genetic examinations are worthwhile.
Newly reported genome research has looked at:
Northern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys)
Female Northern White-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys). The common name comes from the prominent...
Female Northern White-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys). The common name comes from the prominent white colouring on the cheeks of the male of the species. Captive in the Adelaide Zoo, Australia.
The gibbon is the last ape to have its genome sequenced. The study found that the gibbon tolerates a surprising number of chromosome rearrangements.
Lucia Carbone of the Oregon Health & Science University said in a research note: "We do this work to learn as much as we can about gibbons, which are some of the rarest species on the planet. But we also do this work to better understand our own evolution and get some clues on the origin of human diseases."
Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora)
A photograph of a coffee leaf infected by Hemileia vastatrix - coffee leaf rust.
A photograph of a coffee leaf infected by Hemileia vastatrix - coffee leaf rust.
Coffee is the latest essential crop to have its genome sequenced. The new study provides insights into genes that give the plant’s seeds their distinctive flavors and caffeine content.
Lead researcher, Victor Albert of the University at Buffalo, New York, said in the research brief: "The coffee genome helps us understand what's exciting about coffee—other than that it wakes me up in the morning. By looking at which families of genes expanded in the plant, and the relationship between the genome structure of coffee and other species, we were able to learn about coffee’s independent pathway in evolution, including—excitingly—the story of caffeine."
Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia)
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae).  Tyee Island  GA
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae). Tyee Island, GA
The Glanville fritillary, an orange and black “checkerspot” butterfly native to Europe and temperate Asia. The fritillary has 31 chromosomes; sequencing its genome enabled scientists to confirm this as the ancestral lepidopteran chromosome number.
Chimpanzee malaria parasite (Plasmodium reichenowi)
Electron micrograph of the malarial parasite Plasmodium
Electron micrograph of the malarial parasite Plasmodium
University of Berkley
The parasite that causes most human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, seems to have evolved from species that infect African great apes. With the first full genome sequence of an ape-pathogenic malarial species complete, the findings points to subtle variations that may determine host specificity. This may help researchers with studies into ways to combat malaria.
More about Genome, Dna, Sequencing, Genetics
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