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Draft genome of the Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

By Zhipeng Li, Zeshan Lin, Lei Chen, Hengxing Ba, Yongzhi Yang, Kun Wang, Wen Wang, Qiu Qiang, Guangyu Li

Posted 23 Jun 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/154724 (published DOI: 10.1093/gigascience/gix102)

Background: Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) is the only fully domesticated species in the Cervidae family, and is the only cervid with a circumpolar distribution. Unlike all other cervids, female reindeer regularly grow cranial appendages (antlers, the defining characteristics of cervids), as well as males. Moreover, reindeer milk contains more protein and less lactose than bovids milk. A high quality reference genome of this specie will assist efforts to elucidate these and other important features in the reindeer. Findings: We obtained 723.2 Gb (Gigabase) of raw reads by an Illumina Hiseq 4000 platform, and a 2.64 Gb final assembly, representing 95.7% of the estimated genome (2.76 Gb according to k-mer analysis), including 92.6% of expected genes according to BUSCO analysis. The contig N50 and scaffold N50 sizes were 89.7 kilo base (kb) and 0.94 mega base (Mb), respectively. We annotated 21,555 protein-coding genes and 1.07 Gb of repetitive sequences by de novo and homology-based prediction. Homology-based searches detected 159 rRNA, 547 miRNA, 1,339 snRNA and 863 tRNA sequences in the genome of R. tarandus. The divergence time between R. tarandus, and ancestors of Bos taurus and Capra hircus, is estimated to be 29.55 million years ago (Mya). Conclusions: Our results provide the first high-quality reference genome for the reindeer, and a valuable resource for studying evolution, domestication and other unusual characteristics of the reindeer.

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