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DNA Res. 2004 Feb 29;11(1):27-35.

The genome sequence of silkworm, Bombyx mori.

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Genome Research Department, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, 1-2 Owashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan.


We performed threefold shotgun sequencing of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) genome to obtain a draft sequence and establish a basic resource for comprehensive genome analysis. By using the newly developed RAMEN assembler, the sequence data derived from whole-genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing were assembled into 49,345 scaffolds that span a total length of 514 Mb including gaps and 387 Mb without gaps. Because the genome size of the silkworm is estimated to be 530 Mb, almost 97% of the genome has been organized in scaffolds, of which 75% has been sequenced. By carrying out a BLAST search for 50 characteristic Bombyx genes and 11,202 non-redundant expressed sequence tags (ESTs) in a Bombyx EST database against the WGS sequence data, we evaluated the validity of the sequence for elucidating the majority of silkworm genes. Analysis of the WGS data revealed that the silkworm genome contains many repetitive sequences with an average length of <500 bp. These repetitive sequences appear to have been derived from truncated transposons, which are interspersed at 2.5- to 3-kb intervals throughout the genome. This pattern suggests that silkworm may have an active mechanism that promotes removal of transposons from the genome. We also found evidence for insertions of mitochondrial DNA fragments at 9 sites. A search for Bombyx orthologs to Drosophila genes controlling sex determination in the WGS data revealed 11 Bombyx genes and suggested that the sex-determining systems differ profoundly between the two species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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