Moves like jaguar

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a large felid species, and the only remaining member of the Panthera genus native to the Americas [1]. These amazing animals have the most powerful bite of all big cats, and are aptly named. The word ‘jaguar’ comes from the Tupian word ‘yaguara’ which means ‘beast of prey’. The jaguar is listed as near threatened on the ICUN’s red list due to loss of habitat [2]. Read more about the jaguar on panthera.org website and learn about the Jaguar Corridor Initiative to preserve the genetic integrity and future of the jaguar by connecting and protecting core jaguar populations from Mexico to Argentina!


Today, we share the chromosome-length assembly for the jaguar named Cocoy from the Houston Zoo. Sadly, Cocoy passed away in 2015, but her genome lives on in the digital form and will hopefully help the jaguar species in the years to come. This is a $1K genome assembly, see Dudchenko et al., 2018 for strategy details.


This is the sixth felid assembly in our collection alongside the cheetah, leopard, tiger, cougar, and clouded leopard. As pointed out before (see, e.g. this blog post) the Felidae karyotype is very highly conserved, confirmed once again in the whole-genome alignment plot between the domestic cat genome assembly, from Pontius et al., Genome Res., 2007, and the new jaguar genome assembly.

Whole genome alignment between the new jaguar genome assembly (Panthera_onca_HiC) and the domestic cat genome assembly (felCat9, NCBI accession number GCF_000181335.3).

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