The genome and transcriptome sequence of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, is giving insight into some of the animal's unique traits like its long gestation period and its hop, reports the Australian Life Scientist. "Using the genetic sequence we have discovered many new marsupial genes vital to the survival of the young, including genes that make antimicrobial proteins that kill bacteria in the dirty pouch," says lead author Tony Papenfuss from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. The researchers also compared the wallaby genome to the human genome, finding many similarities, and Papenfuss notes the comparison led them to find a new gene in the human genome. "What is interesting is the surprising similarities as well as the differences in the genes uncovered in this study," adds the University of Melbourne Marilyn Renfree. The study is in press at Genome Biology.
The Wallaby Sequence
Aug 19, 2011