Science & Technology

Big Gap for Sequencing All Animal Genomes-ScienceDaily

According to an analysis led by Washington State University, efforts to sequence the world’s animal genomes are almost entirely north-south studies that tend to focus on what most resembles humans.

In the paper published in Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences.Researchers at WSU and Brigham Young University warn that current efforts overlook the vast range of diversity and opportunities.

Analysis revealed that the genomes of nearly 3,300 animal species were sequenced and assembled. This is the process of giving the DNA of an organism an organized context. While the proportion is rising, its numbers are low compared to 1.66 million species of animals in the world, and vertebrates make up the majority of the current sequence. Although only 3.9% of animal species, they make up 54% of all aggregates. In contrast, invertebrates of the phylum Arthropod, including insects and spiders, make up only 34% of the current dataset, accounting for 78.5% of all species.

“With the rapid accumulation of genomic assemblies, we want to think about where we are focusing. It is not evenly distributed throughout the tree of life,” said a WSU postdoctoral fellow. The lead author, Scott Hottaling, states. “Invertebrates are still very undervalued, which makes sense given that people seem to be more concerned about vertebrates, the so-called” charismatic megafauna. ” “

The hominids, including apes and humans, have collected the most continuous genomic data, but the human genome is not the longest. The title comes from the Australian lungfish. Of all the genomic data, only five arthropod groups of bees, butterflies, mosquitoes, fruit flies and ants were well represented. All of these are notable for their usefulness and problems to humans.

“We are interested in ourselves, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Paul Francen, the corresponding author of the paper and an assistant professor at BYU. “But to start understanding the entire ecosystem, we need to start sampling different organisms to get a clearer picture. Spine animals are an important component of the ecosystem, but probably insects and Many other small creatures probably play an even more important role: “at the root of the food network.”

The author, Hotaling, Frandsen, and WSU associate professor Joanna Kelley, said that most of the gene sequencing work is done in a developed country, often called the Global North, because it is mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. The United States, China, and Switzerland have the highest production volumes. There was a particular trend in different regions, with mammal and insect sequences being the most common in North America, fish in Europe, and birds in Asia.

Several large-scale genome sequencing efforts, including the Earth BioGenome Initiative, have recently set the ambitious goal of sequencing all eukaryotes, including animals, bacteria, and unicellular organisms within the next decade. Was announced.

The current number of approximately 3,300 animal genome assemblies as of June 2021 has increased significantly in 25 years since the 1998 Caenorhabditis elegans roundworm, where the first animal genome sequence was created. However, the author calculated at the current rate of about 4 genomes. At daily meetings, the goal of sequencing the lives of all eukaryotes was not achieved until 3130.

Researchers have found that one way to promote more work in this area is to develop infrastructure, especially in tropical regions with high biodiversity, and more researchers from the countries of the Global North and Global South. Proposes to involve.

“If you want to build a global field, you need to include global people,” says Hottering. “This is just basic equity, and from a purely scientific point of view, people living in areas where species are sequenced have a lot of knowledge about their species and ecosystems. They contribute. I have a lot to do. “

Big Gap for Sequencing All Animal Genomes-ScienceDaily Big Gap for Sequencing All Animal Genomes-ScienceDaily

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