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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

De novo PacBio long-read assembled avian genomes correct and add to genes important in neuroscience and conservation research

To test the impact of high-quality genome assemblies on biological research, we applied PacBio long-read sequencing in conjunction with the new, diploid-aware FALCON-Unzip assembler to a number of bird species. These included: the zebra finch, for which a consortium-generated, Sanger-based reference exists, to determine how the FALCON-Unzip assembly would compare to the current best references available; Anna’s hummingbird genome, which had been assembled with short-read sequencing methods as part of the Avian Phylogenomics phase I initiative; and two critically endangered bird species (kakapo and ‘alala) of high importance for conservations efforts, whose genomes had not previously been sequenced and assembled.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

PAG PacBio Workshop: Conservation genomics of a critically endangered Hawaiian bird: A high quality genome assembly of the ‘alala will assist in population management and reintroduction

Oliver Ryder speaks about efforts to rescue the Hawaiian crow, a bird that has been extinct in the wild since 2002, and reintroduce it to its native habitat. Critical to this work is a new SMRT Sequencing reference genome assembly, which Ryder says is already one of the best avian assemblies out there. The resource may help deal with challenges like inbreeding and disease susceptibility.

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Saturday, January 9, 2016

SMRT Sequencing of the alala genome

Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing was used to generate long reads for whole genome shotgun sequencing of the genome of the`alala (Hawaiian crow). The ‘alala is endemic to Hawaii, and the only surviving lineage of the crow family, Corvidae, in the Hawaiian Islands. The population declined to less than 20 individuals in the 1990s, and today this charismatic species is extinct in the wild. Currently existing in only two captive breeding facilities, reintroduction of the ‘alala is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2016. Reintroduction efforts will be assisted by information from the ‘alala genome generated and assembled by…

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