About the Project
Mammals evolved from earlier animals that moved from the sea to the land. In three branches of the mammalian tree, species have moved back to live in the water.
The BCM-HGSC has genome sequencing projects to understand a number of these organisms as individual species and to study the different species to understand the genomic features that relate to the biology of marine mammals.
|Bottlenose dolphin. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
|Dolphin genome project
|Killer whale genome project
|Walrus genome project
The marine mammals under study include the dolphin (Tursiops truncates), the killer whale (Orcinus orca), and the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).
These animals are members of the Cetartiodactyla and Carnivores lineages and will be studied in relation to the land mammals in these lineages with sequenced genomes including the cow (Bos Taurus) and the dog (Canis familaris).
The third marine mammal lineage is in the Hyracoides, where the BCM-HGSC is sequencing the Hyrax, a land animal that can be compared to the dugong and manatee marine mammals in the Afrotheria lineage.