Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Frog Genome Featured on Cover of Science
The draft genome sequence of the Western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, a sentinel species for potential impacts of environmental contamination and climate change has just been reported in Science (and featured on the cover of the journal). X. tropicalis displays rapid and easily monitored embryonic development along with tractable genetics. Uffe Hellsten of the JGI, with 48 co-authors from 24 institutions, presents a X tropicalis draft genome sequence assembly that encodes more than 20,000 protein-coding genes compared to an estimated 23,000 genes in the human genome. The frog genome exhibits substantial organizational similarity (in terms of gene order) with human and chicken genomes over major parts of large chromosomes. Amphibians such as the frog have become highly important for scientific studies on environmental pollution, as harbingers of toxins produced by industrial and other activities, and for interpreting and understanding the human genome.
U. Hellsten, et al., “Assembly, annotation, and analysis of the frog genome compares gene content and synteny with the human and chicken genomes”, Science, 328, 633-636 (2010).