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This Week in Genome Research: Oct 7, 2015

An international team of researchers reports on genome of the African green monkey or vervet, Chlorocebus aethiops, in Genome Research this week. The team then compared this new C. aethiops genome to those of other primates to find a high level of sequence conservation between it and humans and macaques. The vervet genome, though, also harbored some lineage-specific chromosomal fissions, meaning that their karyotypes diverge from other Old World Monkeys. The researchers note that as the vervet genome will inform studies of simian immunodeficiency syndrome as it is the most abundant natural host species.

Washington University School of Medicine researchers present a targeted sequence capture panel to help in the characterization of viral populations. Their ViroCap approach, which enriches DNA and RNA from viruses from more than 30 families that infect vertebrates, enhances the more common metagenomic shotgun sequencing approach, they report. For instance, they say that ViroCap dramatically increases the amount of viral sequence obtained from human samples, leading to increased genomic resolution.

Researchers led by the University of Zurich's Andreas Wagner examine the effects of tandem repeats on gene expression evolution in 83 human and non-human great apes. Through their genome-wide survey of tandem repeat variation, they found that genes with tandem repeats in their promoters, 3' untranslated region, introns, and exons had higher expression divergence than genes without repeats in those spots. This and other findings, they say, show that tandem repeats may have contributed to human evolution by their effects on gene expression.