December 21, 2023  |  Plant + animal biology

High-quality genomes for a biodiverse Christmas

DToL Christmas Genomes

After last year’s humongous achievement of assembling the 100 Gb mistletoe genome, it is very exciting to see many more holiday associated species assembled by the Darwin Tree of Life Project. All of these leverage accurate HiFi sequencing to create high-quality, haplotype-resolved genomes, thereby allowing for a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms of Christmas. 

From the English holly and the common ivy to the chestnut to stimulate our senses, entire Christmas stories are now populated with high-quality genomic information, including:

Four calling birds

Many high-quality passerine (perching) bird PacBio genomes have been generated by the DToL and around the world, a few examples include the European Robin (also featured in a great video!), the European nightjar, the barn swallow, and the yellow cardinal, and lots more, for example, on GenomeArk.

Three French hens

The latest chicken reference genome (GRCg7b) by the VGP, Sanger & B10K is based on PacBio data, and for French or other poultry nationalities also see “Comprehensive analysis of structural variants in chickens using PacBio sequencing” from researchers in China. From the DToL project, there is a terrific blog about the “Chicken of the Woods”!

Two turtle doves

The European turtle dove assembly was part of the ’25 Genomes for 25 Years’ Sanger Institute anniversary celebration. 

And a partridge in a pear tree

The pear tree was completed earlier this year. And while the partridge to put in the pear tree may be on the near future horizon for the DToL, luckily several partridges have been assembled by other groups, such as the Tibetan Partridge and Przevalski’s partridge (last month so just in time for this year’s festivities!), illustrating the movement we see around the world of the ever increasing number of scientists applying PacBio sequencing for more complete, contiguous and correct genome information to their research.  

Please see another, botanically inspired blog entitled “The 12 Days of DToL” by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for many more examples! 

From all of us at PacBio, we use these terrific assemblies and this time to reflect on our customers’ achievements and advances, and express our deep gratitude to all of you for allowing us to be your partner in your scientific journey. We look forward to many more high-quality genomes, insights and discoveries in the new year! 

Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.