First chromosome-length genome assembly of a snake

Today, we're sharing a chromosome-length genome assembly for the Burmese python, the first chromosome-length assembly (as far as we know) for a snake. The assembly is based on the draft Python_molurus_bivittatus-5.0.2 (GCA_000186305.2) from (Castoe et al., 2013).


Burmese pythons are found throughout Southern and Southeast Asia where their population is decreasing, and the species is classified as vulnerable. Yet in Florida these non-native snakes are flourishing and causing the population of many native species, from birds to mammals, to plummet.


Check out the whole genome alignment to the green anole lizard genome assembly AnoCar2.0, showing nearly perfect conservation of synteny between a lizard and a snake (the species are thought to have diverged roughly 150M years ago). Comparing to the chicken, GRCg6a, allows us to examine conservation of synteny across the Sauria. This is a 250M year old group spanning the birds, non-avian dinosaurs, and non-dinosaur reptiles. The chromosome-scale synteny blocks are a real sight for Sauri(s)!


For more about this, you might want to read "The genome of the green anole lizard and a comparative analysis with birds and mammals," from (Alföldi, Di Palma et al., 2011).


Whole genome alignment between the 18 chromosomes of the Burmese python and 13 chromosomes of the green anole assembly from (Alföldi, Di Palma et al., 2011).

Whole genome alignments between the Burmese python, the green anole and chicken genome assemblies.

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