The largest collection of mammalian genomes identifies endangered species

A large international consortium led by scientists at the University of Uppsala at Harvard Line Institute has sequenced the genomes of 130 mammals and analyzed the data along with 110 existing genomes to allow scientists to determine the possible positions of DNA. This new information can help to study mutations in diseases in humans, as well as how to best preserve endangered species. The study was published in Nature. Loan: Susanna Hamilton

The Zoonomia Project has released this huge body of data on both biomedical research and biodiversity conservation.
An international team of researchers called the Zoonomia Project has analyzed and compared the entire genomes of more than 80 percent of the mammalian family, showing that they are almost 110 million years old. Genomic Database Published Today (November 11, 2020) Nature:, includes genomes of more than 120 species that have not been previously classified և captures mammalian diversity on an unprecedented scale.

The database is aimed at advancing human health research. Researchers can use the data to compare the genomes of humans and other mammals, which could help identify genomic regions that may be involved in human disease. The authors make the data available to the scientific community through the Zoonomia Project website without any restrictions on its use.

“The main idea of ​​the project was to use this data to help human geneticists determine which mutations cause disease,” said co-author Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Brod ղեկավար Professor of Comparative Genomics. Uppsala University.

However, in analyzing the new genomes, the authors found that mammalian species with higher rates of extinction have less genetic diversity. The findings suggest that even a single person sequence can provide information in a cost-effective way that the population may be at greater risk of elimination և prioritize in-depth assessment of conservation needs.

“We wrote the paper to talk about this large, unique database, to explain why it is so interesting. “Once the data becomes widely available and explain its usefulness to the wider research community, you can really change the way science works,” said Co-author Elinor Carlson, Director of the Invertebrate Genomics Group at the Line Institute. WITH: և Harvard պրոֆես Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Zoonomia data have already helped researchers in a recent study to assess the risk of infection SARS-CoV-2: through many species. The researchers found 47 mammals most likely to be reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 virus or intermediate hosts.

Mapping of mammals

The Zoonomia project, formerly called the 200 Mammal Project, builds on the previous project, the 29 Mammal Project, which began classifying mammalian genomes in 2006. The latest project extends the work by studying the genomes of species that can perform physiological feats that humans can. From wintering squirrels to exceptionally long-lived bats. The program also included the genomes of endangered species.

In a new study, researchers collaborated with 28 different institutions around the world to collect samples for genomic analysis, with the Global Zoo in San Diego providing almost half of the samples to the Frozen Zoo. The team focused on medical, biological, biodiversity conservation, and increased the percentage of mammalian families with a representative genome from 49 to 82 percent.

The program has developed tools that will allow researchers to look at each “letter” or basis of a mammalian genome sequence or to compare it with sequences of equivalent locations in the human genome, including regions that may be involved in the disease. This can help researchers identify genetic sites that have remained the same and functional ու during evolution և accidentally mutated. If it has remained stable in mammals for millions of years, it probably has a potential function, so any changes in that area may be related to disease.

In publishing the data, the authors urge the scientific community to assist field researchers in collecting samples, increase access to computational resources that enable the analysis of massive genomic databases և quickly և openly share genomic data

“One of the most interesting things about the Zoonomia project is that our very important questions are available to humans both inside and outside of science,” said Diane Gene Yenero, lead author of the Invertebrate Genomics Group. “By developing scientific projects that are accessible to all, we can provide benefits to society, human health and the environment.”

Reference. Zoonomia Consortium “Multi-tool of comparative genomics for scientific discovery and preservation”, 2020 November 11, Nature:,
DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-020-2876-6:

The project is partly funded by NHGRI, the Swedish Research Council, the Knut և Alice Wallenberner Foundation, Broadnex 10 and others.

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