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Migration of the Monarch

Researchers from University of Massachusetts Medical School and Genome Project Solutions present on the draft genome of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, in Cell this week. Monarch butterflies migrate each fall from North America to central Mexico, and the researchers focus their analyses on gene families in the 273 Mb genome likely to be involved in seasonal migration. "With this genome sequence in hand, we now have an overwhelming number of opportunities to understand the genetic and molecular basis of long-distance migration," says UMass's Steven Reppert in a statement.

Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on the monarch butterfly genome here.