The cat genome houses nearly 22,000 protein-coding genes, according to a new genome annotation by an international team of researchers in GigaScience.
Back in 2007, researchers reported sequencing the genome of an Abyssinian cat called Cinnamon. At that time, the team reported that the cat genome had some 20,000 genes.
For this annotation, researchers added in sequence data from Boris, a male cat from Russia, and Sylvester, a European wildcat. Cats, they note, have a "highly conserved ancestral mammal genome organization [that makes] the cat genome annotation a highly informative resource that facilitates multifaceted research endeavors."
"Unlike dogs, cats have not changed much since they first graced us with their domestic presence," the Smithsonian magazine notes. A better understanding of the cat genome could inform work into the understanding of mammalian evolution.
The researchers also present a genome browser, dubbed Genome Annotation Resource Fields, or 'GARfield.'