New Pre! sites for blind cave fish, armadillo, prairie vole and white rhino

New Pre! sites have been released for four species: the Mexican blind cave fish (Astyanax mexicanus), southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).

voleThe prairie vole assembly, MicOch1.0 (GCA_000317375.1), was made available by The Broad Institute in October 2012. The prairie vole is a model for social behaviour. The animals live in colonies and have been known to display aspects of human-like behaviour such as lifelong pair bonding. The vole assembly is composed of 21 chromosomes and 6314 unplaced scaffolds. Click here to go to the vole Pre! site, where you can view alignments of vole proteins from Uniprot, and mouse and human Ensembl translations.

Dasypus_novemcinctus The armadillo assembly, Dasnov3.0 (GCA_000208655.2), was made available by the Baylor College of Medicine in December 2011. The armadillo is a natural reservoir of leprosy that can be acquired by humans who handle or consume them. The species is also used to study multiple births and delayed implantation of embryos, they usually produce identical quadruplets. The armadillo assembly is composed of 46558 unplaced scaffolds. Click here to go to the armadillo Pre! site, where you can view alignments of the armadillo Uniprot proteins and human Ensembl translations.

Astyanax_mexicanusThe cave fish assembly, AstMex102 (GCA_000372685.1), became available in April 2013. The species has both surface dwelling (surface fish) and cave adapted (cave fish) morphs and is an important model in evolutionary biology. The cavefish differ from the surface fish in several traits such as the enhancement of non-visual sensory systems and the loss of eyes and pigmentation. As the two different morphs are inter-fertile the species is a useful model for microevolution studies, although it is primarily used as a model for retinal degeneration diseases. The cave fish assembly comprises 10735 unplaced scaffolds. Click here to go to the cavefish Pre! site, where you can view alignments of cavefish Uniprot proteins, and stickleback and zebrafish Ensembl translations.

Ceratotherium_simum_simumThe southern white rhinoceros assembly, CerSimSim1.0 (GCA_000283155.1), was made available by the Broad Institute in August 2012.  This particular species is a valuable model for a number of reasons. Potential longevity has been estimated to be between 40 and 50 years, and although they may be sexually mature by the age of 4, often they do not reproduce until much later in life. They are also important for comparative studies with horses, having diverged about 55mya. Finally, rhino studies are important for conservation reasons as they are near threatened species due to poaching. The rhino assembly comprises 3086 unplaced scaffolds. Click here to go to the rhinoceros Pre! site, where you can view alignments of the rhinoceros Uniprot proteins and human Ensembl translations.

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