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MT14-009: Improving the quality of the feline reference genome

The availability of a single genome sequence “reference” has allowed geneticists to identify mutations in over two dozen genes influencing feline disease and coat color, many of which have been translated into genetic tests. The current version of the domestic cat genome sequence was completed using technology based on very short sequence reads. Therefore it still lacks the high quality and accuracy found in dog, human and mouse genomes. Specifically more than 10% of the sequences in the cat genome are unplaced or unresolved due to collapsing of highly similar sequences, and contain over a thousand genes. Many abnormalities are due to these kinds of genome structural changes that influence genes, and can’t be detected by comparing whole genome sequencing of individual cats to the reference sequence if the reference is incorrect. In addition, many gaps exist within the boundaries of genes. We will improve the feline genome assembly using long-read Pacific Biosciences genome sequencing technology.The results of this study will significantly improve the quality of the feline genome assembly, and increase our ability to map genes that contribute to traits and diseases in different cat breeds.

Grant ID: MT14-009

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2014

Amount awarded: $25,000

Investigator: William J. Murphy; Texas A&M University