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Rhesus Macaque DNA Sequence Available in Free, Public Databases

 
  February, 21 2006 18:57
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The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announce that a multi-center team has deposited the draft genome sequence of the rhesus macaque monkey into free public databases for use by the worldwide research community.

The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is the second non-human primate, after the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), to have its genome sequenced, and is the first of the Old World monkeys to have its DNA deciphered. Overall, the rhesus genome shares about 92 to 95 percent of its sequence with the human (Homo sapiens) and more than 98 percent with the chimpanzee. Consequently, the rhesus provides an ideal reference point for comparisons among the three closely related primates. Sequencing is also underway on the genomes of a number of other primates, including the orangutan, marmoset and gorilla.

The worldwide research community can access the sequence data through the following public databases and genome viewers: GenBank (www.ncbi.nih.gov/Genbank) and Map Viewer (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mapview/)at NIH’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); EMBL Bank (www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/index.html) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s Nucleotide Sequence Database; and the DNA Data Bank of Japan (www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/). The data can also be viewed through the UCSC Genome Browser (http://www.genome.ucsc.edu/) at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Ensembl Genome Browser (www.ensembl.org) at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England. Additional information about the rhesus sequence is available through the Human Genome Sequence Center at Baylor College of Medicine http://www.hgsc.bcm.tmc.edu/

NHGRI approved efforts to decipher the genome of the rhesus macaque based on its evaluation of the importance of such efforts to biomedical research. The sequencing needed to produce a high-quality draft took about two years to complete and cost approximately $22 million.

To read the white paper that outlines the scientific rationale and strategy for sequencing the rhesus, go to: http://www.genome.gov/Pages/Research/Sequencing/SeqProposals/RhesusMacaqueSEQ021203.pdf. To learn more about the rapidly expanding field of comparative genomic analysis, go to: http://www.genome.gov/11509542.

Media Contacts
Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center
Ross Tomlin
713-798-7973

Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University, St. Louis
Joni Westerhouse
314-286-0120

J. Craig Venter Institute
Barbara Askjaer
240-268-2767

NHGRI
Geoff Spencer
301-402-0911


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