In DepthBiology

New technologies boost genome quality

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Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 10-11
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6346.10

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Summary

Biologists and informatics experts are launching a quiet revolution aimed at building better genomes, one made possible by newer sequencing technologies, novel methods for locating sequences on chromosomes, and improved software for piecing DNA together. In the past 6 months, these approaches have led to a flood of high-quality animal and plant genomes in preprints and published papers. Often far better than even prized sequences such as the original mouse and human genomes, such polished genomes are "now going to become super mainstream," says Timothy P.L. Smith, an animal geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Clay Center, Nebraska. They promise new details about evolutionary history, such as genome duplications and invasions by rogue DNA, and make it easier to find specific DNA involved in traits important for an organism's survival or for agricultural improvements.