A Draft de novo Mitochondrial Genome Assembly for the Hyacinth Macaw
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Establishing genome assemblies is important for comparative and population studies that examine genetic diversity. This is especially vital for threatened animal species. The hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), native to the countries of Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil, is a vulnerable species currently in decline, as a result of illegal trade and habitat loss. Maintaining species and genomic diversity is crucial to the biological and ecological balance of many environments. Thus, genome-wide data for a threatened species are particularly useful for population analyses and future conservation efforts. Despite dwindling population numbers, no hyacinth mitochondrial draft genome assembly currently exists. Therefore, the goal of this study was to produce a hyacinth draft de novo mitochondrial genome assembly with annotation by using BLAST and other published tools. CLC Genomics Workbench was used to map and extract reads and perform a de novo assembly to yield a complete mitochondrial genome for the hyacinth macaw. The mitochondrial sequence was 17,000 bp long and contained 13 protein coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and a control region. Comparative analysis showed that many mitochondrial gene regions were conserved between the hyacinth macaw and several highly similar species found through a BLAST search. Continuation of such studies will allow for further population analyses involving the diversity of maternal lineages for this species. This work will directly facilitate modern genomics research for the hyacinth macaw and other avian species.
Wang, Austin Christiansen (2015). A Draft de novo Mitochondrial Genome Assembly for the Hyacinth Macaw. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from