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Upadhyay, Maulik; Hauser, Andreas; Kunz, Elisabeth; Krebs, Stefan; Blum, Helmut; Dotsev, Arsen; Okhlopkov, Innokentiy; Bagirov, Vugar; Brem, Gottfried; Zinovieva, Natalia and Medugorac, Ivica (2020): The First Draft Genome Assembly of Snow Sheep (Ovis nivicola). In: Genome Biology and Evolution, Vol. 12, No. 8: pp. 1330-1336

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The snow sheep, Ovis nivicola, which is endemic to the mountain ranges of northeastern Siberia, are well adapted to the harsh cold climatic conditions of their habitat. In this study, using long reads of Nanopore sequencing technology, whole-genome sequencing, assembly, and gene annotation of a snow sheep were carried out. Additionally, RNA-seq reads from several tissues were also generated to supplement the gene prediction in snow sheep genome. The assembled genome was similar to 2.62Gb in length and was represented by 7,157 scaffolds with N50 of about 2Mb. The repetitive sequences comprised of 41% of the total genome. BUSCO analysis revealed that the snow sheep assembly contained full-length or partial fragments of 97% of mammalian universal single-copy orthologs (n=4,104), illustrating the completeness of the assembly. In addition, a total of 20,045 protein-coding sequences were identified using comprehensive gene prediction pipeline. Of which 19,240 (similar to 96%) sequences were annotated using protein databases. Moreover, homology-based searches and de novo identification detected 1,484 tRNAs;243 rRNAs;1,931 snRNAs;and 782 miRNAs in the snow sheep genome. To conclude, we generated the first de novo genome of the snow sheep using long reads;these data are expected to contribute significantly to our understanding related to evolution and adaptation within the Ovis genus.

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