Alligator bytes

The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis is widely considered to be the most endangered species in the crocodilian family, with less than 120 alligators left in the wild [1]. To help with the conservation efforts, we are releasing the chromosome-length genome assembly for the Chinese alligator.

The new genome assembly is based on the ASM45574v1 draft from (Wan, Pan, Hu et al., Cell Research, 2013). We thank Moody Gardens for the sample used for Hi-C library preparation!

Check out the whole genome alignments between the 16 chromosomes of the Chinese alligator and chicken chromosomes, from the International Chicken Genome Sequencing Consortium, below. Previously, we have highlighted results that suggest species in Sauria tend to have a highly conservative chromosome structure [2, 3]. Interestingly, the data from the Chinese alligator breaks this trend, showing a highly divergent karyotype!

Whole genome alignment of the chromosome-length genome assembly for the Alligator sinensis to the chromosomes of the chicken (left). Many chromosomal rearrangements are mapped between the two species. Compare this to the whole genome alignment from one of our previous posts, between the chicken and Chelonia mydas, a member of the turtle family and a more distant relative to the chicken than the Chinese alligator (right).


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