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Asian seabass genome unraveled

Author: SANBI

Frst major tropical seafood fish species to have its genome sequenced

On 16 April 2016, Prof Christoffels and his team members Peter van Heusden, Thoba Lose, Mario Jonas and Mbandi Kimbang co-authored the Asian Seabass (barramundi) genome paper that was published in PLoS Genetics. This is the first major tropical seafood fish species to have its genome sequenced. The consortium, established in 2013 comprised an international team of scientists from 20 organizations, including University of the Western Cape, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (Germany), and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (USA), and spearheaded by Prof. László Orbán, based in Singapore.  Prof Christoffels led the bioinformatics effort across three continents to annotate and describe the genes in the Asian seabass genome. In December 2015, the consortium could not resolve the gene predictions in the Asian seabass genome and agreed to use a solution developed by the SANBI-UWC team. Prof Christoffels commented - “Despite contributing to a number of international genome projects, this project was unique because of the cutting edge sequencing technology that was used to piece together a high quality genome”. Further details about the application of the Asian seabass genome to aquaculture can been obtained from the Press release.



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