SEAL Team

Harbor seals are one of the most common marine mammals. The global population of harbor seals is 350,000–500,000, but subspecies in certain habitats are threatened [1]. Once a common practice, sealing is now illegal in many nations within the animal's range, and in the US harbor seals, like all marine mammals, are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.


To contribute to the work done on harbor seal conservation and management we share the chromosome-length assembly, here. This work is based on the draft genome assembly generated by the Canada's Genome Enterprise (CGEN). We thank SeaWorld for the sample used for Hi-C library preparation!


See below how the chromosomes of the new genome assembly compare to another pinniped recently assembled by the DNA Zoo, the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris). The karyotypes appear to be practically identical up to a chromosome fusion event: chromosomes #9 and #2 in the Northern elephant seal = chromosome #2 in the harbor seal assembly.

Whole genome alignment plot between the genome assemblies of the harbor seal (GSC_HSeal_1.0_HiC) and the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga_angustirostris_HiC).

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