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Sanger Celebrates 25 Years by Generating 25 High-Quality Genomes of UK Species

Monday, November 6, 2017

We’re pleased to be teaming up with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute on a project to celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary: generating high-quality genome assemblies for 25 species that are integral to the ecosystems found in the United Kingdom.

For this work, Sanger scientists will use the Sequel System and complementary technologies to produce reference-grade assemblies. Twenty organisms have already been selected, and the last five will be chosen by a public vote reminiscent of our own SMRT Grant program, which earlier this year saw dingo beat out bombardier beetle, sea slug, temple pitviper, and pink pigeon for the coveted sequencing prize. Have a look at the Sanger finalists!

From dormouse to dragonfly, hogweed to hornet, the 25 species represent the considerable natural biodiversity of the UK. Organisms run the gamut from endangered to iconic, thriving to dangerous.

In a statement announcing this celebration, Sanger’s Associate Director Julia Wilson said, “Through sequencing these 25 genomes, scientists will gain a better understanding of UK species, how they arrived here, their evolution and how different species are adapting to a changing environment. The results could reveal hidden truths in these species, and will enable the scientific community to understand how our world is constantly changing and evolving around us. We want to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sanger Institute in a special ‘Sanger’ way, and I am excited to see how the 25 genomes project unfolds.”

Voting for the final five species runs through December 8th. We’d like to congratulate the Sanger team on a remarkable 25 years, and we look forward to seeing the results of this latest project!

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