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New publication provides insights on feline genome


These findings will help future disease studies and understanding of cat characteristics



Morris Animal Foundation announced its funded investigators have taken a deep dive into various cat species' DNA sequences to uncover novel perspectives on both domestic and wild cat evolution. This work highlights distinct genetic changes and will serve as a tool for researchers investigating feline characteristics and diseases.

"This is an ongoing effort because it's very difficult to fill in the missing gaps in the genome sequence, and those gaps aren't just junk," said William Murphy, PhD, principal investigator and professor of veterinary integrative biosciences at Texas A&M University, in the organizational release.1

According to the release,1 The Morris Animal Foundation awarded Murphy and his team a grant of $202,938. With the funding, these investigators identified fewer segmental duplications, duplicated blocks of genomic DNA, in the cats compared to other mammal groups during the study. The researchers also learned that numerous variances in feline data exist. To Murphy, these discoveries are just the tip of the iceberg for those studying feline behavior, conversation, and disease.

"Without Morris Animal Foundation's funding and support for the feline genome project, we would not even be close to where we are now (to filling in the gaps)," Murphy said. "We wouldn't have had the funding to advance and use the latest technologies to get the cat genome on par with the human genome."

When it comes to the feline genome, it is not 100% gapless, and ongoing refinements, backed by grants from the Morris Animal Foundation, will help work toward achieving a comprehensive, telomere-to-telomere feline genome, which can be crucial to uncover more genetic information about felines.1


Uncovering Insights on the Feline Genome. News Release. Morris Animal Foundation. January 23, 2024. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/uncovering-insights-feline-genome

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