A team led by investigators at China's Lanzhou University presents a draft sequence of the domestic yak (Bos grunniens) genome in a Nature Genetics paper published online in advance. As our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reports, the Lanzhou-led team performed both "genome and transcriptome sequencing on a female yak that had lived in a high altitude Chinese province neighboring Tibet. They also did transcriptome sequencing on samples from five different tissue types collected from the same animal."
At Science Now's Science Shot, Nicholas St. Fleur adds that the researchers identified several genes that make the yak better suited for heights. "Three genes help the animal regulate its body's response to hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, at high-altitudes, and five genes help it optimize the energy it gets from its food, which is scarce on the plateau," St. Fleur reports.