Generating a High-Density Genetic Map of the Feline Genome
Genome maps provide outstanding tools for scientists to study genetic disease. The cat genome was sequenced for the first time in 2007. Very recently a high-resolution sequence of the cat genome was completed using next-generation sequencing technology; however, 18 percent of the cat genome remains unrepresented in the map. These missing pieces will result in mapping ambiguities or inaccuracies in future mapping efforts. In this study, researchers will work to generate a high-density genetic map of the cat genome using a gene chip containing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The SNPs, genetic footprints found in DNA, function as genetic markers that will help scientists identify genetic predispositions to such diseases as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, infectious diseases and others. If successful, the accurate map could become a valuable resource for all future gene discoveries in domestic cats and a powerful veterinary model for gene discovery of hundreds of hereditary, infectious and chronic complex diseases.
Dr. Stephen J. O’Brien, National Cancer Institute