You don’t know Jac

Reeves’s muntjac also known as Chinese muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) is a deer species found widely in southeastern China and Taiwan. It has been introduced in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland and Japan, and proved invasive outside its native range [1].


Today, we are sharing a chromosome-length genome assembly for the Reeves’s muntjac. This is an upgrade from a recent paper in Science by Chen, Qiu, Juiang, Wang, Lin, Li et al. We thank SeaWorld for helping us with the sample used to generate Hi-C data for the upgrade!


See below our usual analysis of the karyotype of the new chromosome-length genome assembly for the Reeves’s muntjac (2n=46) against that of a cow (2n=60), from (Zimin et al., Genome Biol. 2009). Rearrangements outside of centric and tandem fusions seem rare. A notable exception is the sex chromosome (#5 in the Reeves’s muntjac, #30 in cattle) where the rearrangement picture is more complex.

Whole-genome alignment between the new chromosome-length genome assembly for the Reeves’s muntjac (CIJ_HiC) and that of cattle (Bos_taurus_UMD_3.1.1).

Excitingly, this is one of the rare occurrences where chromosome painting data is available from previous research. The data allows for independent validation of the karyotype predicted by the assembly. See Fig. 4 (copied below) from (Frohlich et al., PLoS ONE, 2017) that shows hybridization patterns of appropriate cattle painting probes for 6 Reeves’s muntjac’s chromosomes: MRE1=chr#1, MRE2=chr#2, MRE3=chr#3, MRE4=chr#4, MRE5=chr#6, MRE11=chr#10. While the chromosome painting data was not used during the generation of the assembly, they are in perfect agreement!

Frohlich et al., PLoS ONE, 2017; Fig. 4: Rearrangements on Chinese muntjac chromosomes MRE1–5 and 11 are demonstrated by hybridization patterns of appropriate cattle painting probes (on the right). MRE1 corresponds to chr#1 in the new assembly, MRE2 to chr#2, MRE3 to chr#3, MRE4 to chr#4, MRE5 to chr#6 and MRE11 to chr#10.

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