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This Week in Genome Research: Jun 24, 2015

A University of Michigan team introduces a catalog of antisense gene expression profiles called OncoNAT, which is based on data from hundreds of cancer samples. With strand-specific paired-end RNA sequence profiles for nearly 400 samples and dozens of cell lines representing nine tissue types, the researchers got a glimpse at the transcript types that tend to be expressed as antisense under normal circumstances and in various cancer types. With their OncoNAT collection, the study's authors also began characterizing functional roles for a few of these so-called "natural antisense transcripts," or NATs.

By developing a high-density meiotic map for the sea lamprey, a pair of University of Kentucky researchers delves into the roots of the ancient whole-genome duplications that have impacted the vertebrate lineage. The team used a combination of linkage analyses and comparative genome mapping to uncover 95 linkage groups for the sea lamprey, which is believed to descend from an ancient lineage that diverged from those leading to other existing vertebrates some 550 million years ago. While the results support one of the two ancestral whole-genome duplications predicted previously, the authors note that their comparative maps "do not strongly support a hypothetical second event."

Researchers from the Netherlands and France used a combination of genome re-sequencing data, genotyping patterns, pedigree information, and more to scrutinize co-ancestry patterns, diversity, and fitness in populations of endangered and domestic pigs. The team then applied these data for making in silico predictions about the potential diversity, fitness, and trait selection outcomes of management strategies based on co-ancestry patterns gleaned from genealogy, molecular markers, or shared regions of the genome in two breeds: the domestic Pietrain pigs and the rare, endangered Sus cebifrons breed from the Philippines.