Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

'Twas the Reindeer Genome

Sleigh bells might not yet be ringing, but researchers in China have sequenced the genome of the reindeer, Rangifer tarandus.

Researchers led by Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences' Guangyu Li obtained DNA from a domesticated R. tarandus living in Inner Mongolia, China, as they report this week in GigaScience. Using the Illumina Hiseq 4000 platform, they generated 615 gigabases that they assembled using SOAPdenovo. They assembled their reads a into 2.64 Gb genome, slightly smaller than the predicted size of 2.76 Gb, and annotated 21,555 protein-coding genes. Additionally, they say that 335 of the reindeer genes they identified were specific to reindeer. The researchers add in a press release that these genes could give insight into certain reindeer traits.

By comparing their newly generated R. tarandus genome to those of related species, Li and colleagues found that it and Bos taurus and Capra hircus diverged from a common ancestor about 29.5 million years ago.

No word on whether the reindeer genome sequence can explain just what made Rudolph's nose so bright.

Filed under

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.