Blueprints for Healthy Animals
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A high quality reference genome for sheep

We jointly led the sequencing and analysis of the sheep genome by the International Sheep Genomics Consortium and defined how sheep separated from goats as a distinct species.

BioLayout / Miru graph representation of gene expression across all sheep tissues
BioLayout / Miru graph representation of gene expression across all sheep tissues

We continue to work on improving the sheep reference genome sequence and we have established one of the largest RNA-Seq datasets ever produced for a single species, representing all the major organ systems from adult sheep and form several juvenile, neonatal and developmental time points. We are working with others in “The Ovine FAANG Project” to characterise the transcribed and regulatory elements in the genome of a Rambouillet ewe. This ewe is the focus of efforts by others to establish an improved sheep reference genome sequence.

Future work in this area will involve long-read technology to complete the annotation of all full-length genes and transcripts in the reference genome, and population genomics to understand genome evolution and adaptation to different environments around the globe.

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Original publication

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