The Genome 10K project wants to sequence the genomes of thousands of vertebrates, including ones that are endangered, Digital Trends reports.
In particular, the project plans to sequence one representative from each vertebrate genus, for a total of about 10,000 genomes. "The purpose of the Genome 10K project is to assemble a genomic zoo of DNA sequences representing the full diversity of vertebrate animals, including at least 10,000 different vertebrate species," the University of California, Santa Cruz's David Haussler tells Digital Trends.
Digital Trends notes that this compendium will include some endangered species. Haussler adds that analyzing the genomes of endangered animals will help researchers gauge how critically endangered they may be by examining, for instance, how decreases in population size have led to inbreeding. This could inform conservation efforts to increase genetic diversity within those species through outbreeding, Digital Trends adds.
At the same time, Haussler adds that getting a better understanding of the vertebrate tree of life will also provide insights into the natural history of people and help predict what genetic variants might be linked to disease.