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NHGRI adds 18 organisms to sequencing pipeline

ther mammalian species. If a DNA sequence has been conserved throughout the evolution of most or all of these species, there is a strong likelihood that the sequence constitutes a functionally important region of the genome.

The seven mammals in this subset are the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana), the European common shrew (Sorex araneus), the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europeaus), the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), the lesser hedgehog tenrec (Echinops telfairi), the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). An eighth mammal, the domestic cat (Felis catus) will add valuable data to the subset, but was selected primarily because of its importance as a medical model for studying disease.

The ninth mammal, the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), is a primate, the animals that are most closely related to humans. NHGRI-supported researchers have already sequenced the genome of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and are sequencing the genome of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). The orangutan genome will be used in conjunction with these other primates to identify those features in the human genome that differ among primates. The ultimate goal is to better define and understand the unique DNA sequences that set primates apart from other mammals and humans apart from other primates.

The second group chosen for the new sequencing effort includes nine non-mammalian organisms, each of which represents a position on the evolutionary timeline marked by important changes in animal anatomy, physiology, development or behavior. The organisms are a slime mold (Physarum polycephalum), a ciliate (Oxytricha trifallax), a choanoflagellate (Monosiga ovata), a placozoan (Trichoplax adhaerens), a cnidarian (Hydra magnipapillata), a snail (Biomphalaria glabrata), two roundworms (Pristionchus pac
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
4-Aug-2004


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