|Image source: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons|
About the Project
The BCM-HGSC is sequencing the genome of the cape rock hyrax (Procavia capensis).
The hyrax is a small land mammal from Africa. Although the hyrax resembles a rodent, it is related to the elephant, and its genomic sequence an be compared to that of the African Savannah elephant which has been sequenced.
The low-coverage (2x) Sanger sequence of the hyrax was published as a part of the 29 mammals project (Nature). The Broad Institute produced the low-coverage assembly. The genome sequence is in the process of being upgraded by the BCM-HGSC to a high quality draft sequence using the Illumina technology.
Frozen kidney tissue from a female rock hyrax named Rosie, who died of old age, was kindly provided by Drs. Tom Alvarado and Jeanette Boylan at the Dallas Zoo. Sequencing for the project is currently underway.
There have been reported cases of pancreatic islet fibrosis/diabetes mellitus in several adult hyraxes at different zoological parks and the sequence information would be useful in understanding the etiology of the disease.
The sequencing and comparative analysis is funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).