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Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)

Many television documentaries have featured meerkats, including the wild meerkats that are the focus of the iconic docudrama "Meerkat Manor" (filmed by Oxford Scientific Films for the Discovery Channel). The genome assembly presented here was produced in part using the genetic material from a granddaughter of the star of "Meerkat Manor," Flower, who you can learn more about in the book "Meerkat Manor, Flower of the Kalahari," by Tim Clutton-Brock! Read more about meerkats on Kalahari Meerkat Project website.


Photo by Tim Clutton-Brock's study site in the Kalahari

Chromosome-length genome assembly

Download the meerkat_22Aug2017_6uvM2_HiC.fasta.gz file containing the chromosome-length (2n=36) assembly of the meerkat genome. All modifications with respect to the draft (see below) are annotated in the meerkat_22Aug2017_6uvM2_HiC.assembly file. Some basic stats associated with the new reference, meerkat_22Aug2017_6uvM2_HiC, are listed below. The full data release can be explored here.

Contig length (bp)
Number of contigs
Contig N50 (bp)
Longest contig (bp)
Scaffold length (bp)
Number of scaffolds
Scaffold N50 (bp)
Longest scaffold (bp)

The chromosome-length genome assembly is based on the draft assembly meerkat_22Aug2017_6uvM2, credited below.

This assembly was shared prior to publication by Jenny Tung at Duke University, Luis Barreiro at the University of Montreal, and Tim Clutton-Brock at the University of Cambridge.


3D Assembly was performed using 3D-DNA pipeline (Dudchenko et al., Science, 2017). The genome was reviewed using Juicebox Assembly Tools  (Dudchenko et al., bioRxiv, 2018). See Methods for more information.

Hi-C sample

The blood sample for in situ Hi-C preparation was donated by a female individual named Bibu, and provided to us by Houston Zoo. We thank SeaWorld for additional samples for this species.

Hi-C Contact maps

Hi-C data was aligned to the draft reference using Juicer (Durand, Shamim et al., Cell Systems, 2016), and contact maps visualizing the alignments with respect to the draft and the new reference were built using 3D-DNA (Dudchenko et al., Science, 2017). The contact maps can be explored below via Juicebox.js interactive tool (Robinson et al., Cell Systems, 2018). (Please note that the interactive figures are scaled 1:2.) To explore the assembly in greater detail, please download the .hic and .assembly files from the data release folder and use Juicebox Assembly Tools  (Dudchenko et al., bioRxiv, 2018).


If you use this genome assembly in your research, please check that the conditions of use associated with the draft permit it, and acknowledge the following work.

This assembly was shared prior to publication by Jenny Tung at Duke University, Luis Barreiro at the University of Montreal, and Tim Clutton-Brock at the University of Cambridge.

Dudchenko, O., Batra, S.S., Omer, A.D., Nyquist, S.K., Hoeger, M., Durand, N.C., Shamim, M.S., Machol, I., Lander, E.S., Aiden, A.P., Aiden, E.L., 2017. De novo assembly of the Aedes aegypti genome using Hi-C yields chromosome-length scaffolds. Science 356, 92–95.

Dudchenko, O., Shamim, M.S., Batra, S., Durand, N.C., Musial, N.T., Mostofa, R., Pham, M., Hilaire, B.G.S., Yao, W., Stamenova, E., Hoeger, M., Nyquist, S.K., Korchina, V., Pletch, K., Flanagan, J.P., Tomaszewicz, A., McAloose, D., Estrada, C.P., Novak, B.J., Omer, A.D., Aiden, E.L., 2018. The Juicebox Assembly Tools module facilitates de novo assembly of mammalian genomes with chromosome-length scaffolds for under $1000. bioRxiv 254797.


This is a work in progress. If you notice any discrepancies in the map or have data that confirms or contradicts the suggested reference, please email us at or leave a comment on the Forum.

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