Cetacean Genomes Project
The Cetacean Genomes Project aims to facilitate generation of reference genomes of all cetacean species.
The Cetacean Genomes Project is an international collaboration established to coordinate efforts to accomplish the following:
- Collect and organize information on samples available from accessible collections, and solicit appropriate samples from the scientific community.
- Coordinate and disseminate information on best practices for sample collection and preservation methods.
- Coordinate available data to avoid redundancy and reduce costs of completing reference-quality genomes.
- Seek funding for individual or groups of species, in coordination with researchers with interests in genomic analysis.
Our primary goal is to coordinate or facilitate generation of high-quality, nearly complete reference genomes for all cetacean species, to maximize the utility of cetacean genomic data for research and conservation. To meet this goal, we have adopted the Vertebrate Genome Project’s minimum genome quality metrics. Genome assemblies that meet these criteria have been shown to reduce sequence error and substantially resolve structural variation (inversions, duplications, variation in length of repetitive elements). As technologies and assembly methods change and improve, we expect the minimum standards to change.
Generation of high-quality, multi-technology genome assemblies comes with significant costs and limitations, requiring ultra-high-quality tissue samples, use of multiple genome sequencing and scaffolding technologies, and sophisticated assembly algorithms and expertise. We recognize that not all cetacean reference genomes can be generated to these standards, and encourage efforts to generate the highest quality reference genomes possible within the limits of funding, sample availability, and expertise, and to continue to improve assembly quality as resources permit.
The Cetacean Genomes Project will leverage the participation and expertise of the Vertebrate Genome Project, Darwin UK Tree of Life, and DNAzoo, while providing the focus and expertise necessary to obtain samples and funding, and conduct or facilitate research on reference-quality genomes of all cetacean species.
Meet the Team
Phillip Morin is a population and evolutionary geneticist, applying genetic and genomic methods to understand cetacean taxonomy, demography, and population structure, and their application to conservation management.
Andrew Foote is an evolutionary ecologist using ancient and modern DNA to study evolution through time and space.
Michael McGowen is an evolutionary biologist who uses genetics/genomics to understand cetacean systematics, taxonomy, molecular evolution, and phylogeography.
Collaborate or sponsor sequencing at Vertebrate Genomes Project.
Contribute genomic data. Let us know about recently generated genomic data and/or assemblies, publications, and projects.
Join the cetacean genomics community discussion on Slack.
Cetacean Genomes Status
We are monitoring multiple genome databases and publications to catalog genome resources. Our Cetacean Genome Status page lists the genome assemblies currently available through public genome databases and genome project-oriented websites.
Cetacean Genomes Project Samples
Obtaining appropriate samples is the first and most critical step in assembling cetacean genomes. Our Cetacean Genomes Project Samples page lists samples that we have identified as likely to meet the necessary specifications. Join our efforts as we search for missing species and help us to avoid duplication of effort.
Cetacean Genomes News and Blog
Stay in touch. Our Cetacean Genome News and Blog will have the latest information from the project team.