NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Researchers have sequenced the desert tortoise genome, which they hope will inform conservation approaches.

Agassiz's desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, is native to the Mojave Desert of the Western US and can live some 50 years in the wild. However, it is on the US endangered species list and is considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The tortoises' numbers have dwindled in part due to human impact on its habitat as well as a respiratory disease.

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