Welcome DNA Zoo Novosibirsk!

DNA Zoo Novosibirsk at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences) joined the team of DNA-Zoo on August 25, 2020. The team is situated at the scientific hub - Academgorodok, Novosibirsk in the beautiful part of Russia - Southern Siberia.

Dr. Alexander Graphodatsky is a head of the team and the Department of Genomic Diversity at the Institute (https://www.mcb.nsc.ru/laboratory/lca; https://www.mcb.nsc.ru/laboratory/lcg). Dr. Graphodasky is a cytogeneticist who was at the forefront of comparative research of animal and human chromosomes by karyology, chromosome painting, and genomics in Russia. Dr. Graphodatsky’s leadership led to a gathering of our productive multidisciplinary team.

Chromosomal sets of animal species have a different number of chromosomes (2n or diploid number). Humans have 2n=46, the Indian muntjac has 2n=6, and the viscacha rat has 2n=102. Yet, we, mammals, all share almost the same genetic material. Why such a great difference in the number of chromosomes? We know from the research that changes in karyotypes during the evolution of mammals manifest in genome reshuffling events through fusions, fissions, inversions, and heterochromatin expansion of ancestral chromosomal elements leading to drastic changes in species diploid numbers. Still, underlying mechanisms and reasons for major genomic reshuffling are largely unknown.

DNA Zoo Novosibirsk will be using an extensive collection of fibroblast cell lines and frozen tissues of animals from across Europe and Asia as well as of World fauna assembled by the members of the team through the years. It is the largest collection of animal cell lines in Russia (https://www.mcb.nsc.ru/node/866)!

The diverse team of DNA-Zoo Novosibirsk includes cytogeneticists, molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, and ancient DNA geneticists. DNA-Zoo Novosibirsk collaborates with Zoos and reserves.

Our goal at DNA-Zoo is to assemble genomes of the fauna of Russia and neighboring countries to the chromosome level and to uncover underlying mechanisms of the genomic changes leading to the formation of our own human genome.

To mark the launch of DNA Zoo Novosibirsk, we have recently released the genome assemblies for the stone marten and the beech marten. Please check them out if you have not already! We follow up today with more genome assemblies based on the DNA Zoo Novosibirsk collection, the yellow-throated marten and the jaguarundi. Stay tuned for more!

Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

Alexander Graphodatsky

Vladimir Trifonov

Svetlana Romanenko

Polina Perelman

Violetta Beklemisheva