Orangutan Genome Project

Image: Orangutan
Image source: frank wouters from antwerpen, belgium (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

About the Project

The BCM-HGSC sequenced the genome of the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). This primate model organism is more distant from humans than chimpanzees but closer than the rhesus monkey, making it important for the study of human biology.

The analysis of the genome sequence is published in the January 26, 2011 issue of Nature.

The Orangutan Genome Sequencing Consortium is a collaboration between the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM-HGSC) and The Genome Institute at Washington University, St. Louis.

The project produced a WGS shotgun assembly, using a combination of small insert plasmids and large insert clone ends.

The decision to sequence the Sumatran orangutan was announced in August 2004, following working group discussions about the general future of primate sequencing and the need for additional outgroups beyond rhesus to anchor chimp-human differences. The agreed plan was for a "rhesus-like" project, i.e., deep coverage (~6X) and BACs as required to ensure high quality assembly to resolve the genome areas that are both particularly interesting and particularly difficult to assemble. Orangutan is the only mammalian genome for deep-draft sequencing without its own white paper. The 27 million reads in the NCBI Trace Archive were produced as an even division of efforts between the HGSC and the Wash U GSC.

The final draft genome assembly is available from the NCBI, DDBJ, and EMBL and is published in the UCSC Genome Browser and Ensembl. The available sequence data, including Sanger traces, and transcript sequence is also available at NCBI.

The sequencing and comparative analysis is funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Genomic Resources

Additional Resources

Learn more about the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

Related Publications

Locke DP, Hillier LDW, Warren WC, Worley KC, Nazareth LV, Muzny DM, et al. Comparative and demographic analysis of orang-utan genomes. Nature. 2011 ;469(7331):529-33.

Eichler EE, Lu F, Shen Y, Antonacci R, Jurecic V, Doggett NA, et al. Duplication of a gene-rich cluster between 16p11.1 and Xq28: a novel pericentromeric-directed mechanism for paralogous genome evolution. Hum Mol Genet. 1996 ;5(7):899-912.