Why cats have 9 lives - high-quality cat genome helps identify novel cause of dwarfism

October 22, 2020

A new and improved cat genome developed by the feline research teams at the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University has already proven to be a valuable tool for feline biomedical research by helping to confirm existing gene variants and new candidate genes underlying diseases in cats. The new findings are published October 22nd in PLOS Genetics.

The 94 million furry feline friends living in the U.S. suffer from many of the same diseases as their human caretakers. However, scientists don't have the depth of genetic tools necessary to develop new tests and treatments for cats. To help correct this deficit, a team of researchers developed a new, high-quality genome sequence from an Abyssinian cat named Cinnamon, which greatly improves the ability to identify more complex DNA variants that cause diseases. They also used 54 additional cat genomes from the 99 Lives Cat Genome Project and compared them to Cinnamon's genome to identify genetic variations possibly causing disease. One of their discoveries was a gene disruption that had not previously been linked to dwarfism in humans and may in rarer cases be involved in the human form of the condition.

The new high-quality cat genome, and the genetic variants it has helped uncover, demonstrate the value of this resource for discovering genetic explanations of diseases in domestic cats. In future work, the team plans to expand the use of precision genomic medicine for cats using this resource and others, which could provide veterinarians more informative genetic screening, earlier disease detection and subsequent therapeutic options that will give better outcomes with fewer side effects. In addition, wildlife conservation research and investigations into how cats came to be domesticated and split into different breeds could also benefit from the new genome.
-end-
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Genetics: http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1008926

Citation: Buckley RM, Davis BW, Brashear WA, Farias FHG, Kuroki K, Graves T, et al. (2020) A new domestic cat genome assembly based on long sequence reads empowers feline genomic medicine and identifies a novel gene for dwarfism. PLoS Genet 16(10): e1008926. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008926

Funding: Funding for this project has been provided in part by Nestlé Purina to pay for personnel salaries and sequencing (W.C.W. and R.M.), Wisdom Health unit of Mars Veterinary to pay for personnel salaries (L.A.L.), Zoetis to pay for RNA sequencing used in annotation (L.A.L), the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Gilbreath-McLorn endowment was used for the BioNano optical map (L.A.L.), and Winn Feline Foundation W15-008 (W.J.M.), Winn Feline Foundation/Miller Trust MT14-009 (W.J.M.) (https://www.winnfelinefoundation.org/), and Morris Animal Foundation D16FE-011 (W.J.M.) (https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/) were all used for PacBio sequencing. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of results, or decision to publish.

Competing Interests: The authors disclose there are no conflicts of interest. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of results, or decision to publish.

PLOS

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.