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Anim Biotechnol. 2008;19(1):28-42. doi: 10.1080/10495390701807634.

Piggy-BACing the human genome I: constructing a porcine BAC physical map through comparative genomics.

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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


Availability of the human genome sequence and high similarity between humans and pigs at the molecular level provides an opportunity to use a comparative mapping approach to piggy-BAC the human genome. In order to advance the pig genome sequencing initiative, sequence similarity between large-scale porcine BAC-end sequences (BESs) and human genome sequence was used to construct a comparatively-anchored porcine physical map that is a first step towards sequencing the pig genome. A total of 50,300 porcine BAC clones were end-sequenced, yielding 76,906 BESs after trimming with an average read length of 538 bp. To anchor the porcine BACs on the human genome, these BESs were subjected to BLAST analysis using the human draft sequence, revealing 31.5% significant hits (E < e(-5)). Both genic and non-genic regions of homology contributed to the alignments between the human and porcine genomes. Porcine BESs with unique homology matches within the human genome provided a source of markers spaced approximately 70 to 300 kb along each human chromosome. In order to evaluate the utility of piggy-BACing human genome sequences, and confirm predictions of orthology, 193 evenly spaced BESs with similarity to HSA3 and HSA21 were selected and then utilized for developing a high-resolution (1.22 Mb) comparative radiation hybrid map of SSC13 that represents a fusion of HSA3 and HSA21. Resulting RH mapping of SSC13 covers 99% and 97% of HSA3 and HSA21, respectively. Seven evolutionary conserved blocks were identified including six on HSA3 and a single syntenic block corresponding to HSA21. The strategy of piggy-BACing the human genome described in this study demonstrates that through a directed, targeted comparative genomics approach construction of a high-resolution anchored physical map of the pig genome can be achieved. This map supports the selection of BACs to construct a minimal tiling path for genome sequencing and targeted gap filling. Moreover, this approach is highly relevant to other genome sequencing projects.

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