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Crop Biotech Update

25 UK Species' Genomes Sequenced

October 10, 2018

The Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators have sequenced the full genomes of 25 species from the United Kingdom for the first time. The DNA sequence of these plants and animals, including birds, fish, and insects will help biologists and conservationists understand more about how they live and how to protect them. The high-quality genomes will be made freely available to scientists.

According to the Sanger Institute, the newly-sequenced genomes will enable research into why some brown trout migrate to the open ocean, whilst others don't, or investigations into the magneto receptors in robins' eyes that allow them to ‘see' the magnetic fields of the Earth. The genomes could also help to shed light on why red squirrels are vulnerable to the squirrel pox virus, yet grey squirrels can carry and spread the virus without becoming ill.

The 25 Genomes Project is part of the Wellcome Sanger Institute's wider 25th Anniversary celebrations. The 25 genomes represent five key areas of biodiversity in Britain.

To see the list of the 25 species, and the partners of the Sanger Institute in this research, read their news release.