Wednesday, December 08, 2004

the chicken, the egg or the genome?

not sure whether the chicken or the egg came first, and till the announcement in today's issue of Nature, the genome of the chicken had never come. the International Chicken Genome Sequencing Consortium has published the draft genome sequence of the red jungle fowl, Gallus gallus. Quoting from the article [International Chicken Genome Sequencing Consortium, "Sequence and comparative analysis of the chicken genome provide unique perspectives on vertebrate evolution", Nature, 432, 695-716 (2004)]
Because the chicken is a modern descendant of the dinosaurs and the first non-mammalian amniote to have its genome sequenced, the draft sequence of its genome—composed of approximately one billion base pairs of sequence and an estimated 20,000–23,000 genes—provides a new perspective on vertebrate genome evolution, while also improving the annotation of mammalian genomes.
Gallus gallus is an important model for biomedical research, and the primary lab model for almost 9600 species of birds. In addition to its importance in agriculture, it serves as an important link between man and other vertebrates.

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