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Pufferfish genome sequenced

, demonstrates the effectiveness of studying compact vertebrate genomes.

Jonathan Weitzman(jonathanweitzman@hotmail.com)

Fugu rubripes is a teleost fish that comes from the Far East. The compact nature of the Fugu genome (it has about the same number of genes as the human genome crammed into one eighth of the length) makes it an attractive candidate for comparative genomic analysis. In the 25 July ScienceXpress the international Fugu Genome Consortium, led by Sydney Brenner, reports the sequencing of the F. rubripes genome.

The Consortium chose a whole-genome shotgun sequencing approach that involved assembling over 3.7 million sequencing reads into large scaffolds covering more than 80% of the 365-megabase genome. Using homology-searching programs, the authors found 31,059 predicted gene loci, similar to the number of certified human genes. Gene loci represent about one third of the genome, with clear variation in gene density. Comparative genome analysis allowed the Consortium to identify almost one thousand novel putative gene loci in the human genome....

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