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Press paws for the African wild dog

Today we are releasing the chromosome-length genome assembly for the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. African wild dogs are considered one of Africa’s most effective predators, boasting an 80% success rate with hunts; far higher than the 30% rate of lions [1]. They are classified as endangered by IUCN due to loss of habitat and susceptibility to disease spread by domestic animals [2].

This assembly was done in collaboration with Ellie Armstrong, Dmitri Petrov, Ryan Taylor, John Stuelpnagel, Peter Blinston and others from the Lycaon pictus whole genome shotgun sequencing project [3]. The genomic material for DNA-Seq was provided by Painted Dog Conservation, and the sample for Hi-C library preparation was donated by the Houston Zoo.

It must be noted that there is some disagreement in the literature about the karyotype for this species [4, 5]. We are grateful to Marlys Houck and Ann Misuraca from the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research for confirming our prediction for the 39 haploid chromosome count.

We also share an earlier version of this genome assembly, based on the version of the draft from (Armstrong et al., Gigascience, 2019), here. Check out the whole-genome alignments of the two assemblies to the dog genome canFam3.1 (Lindblad-toh et al., Nature, 2005), below!

Whole genome alignment of the chromosome-length genome assembly for the Lycaon pictus to the chromosomes of domestic dog, from (Lindblad-toh et al., Nature, 2005).

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