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Genome Dyn. 2006;2:60-8. doi: 10.1159/000095093.

The feline genome.

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Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex. 77843-4458, USA.


The domestic cat has a long history of informing human biology, from early studies of comparative anatomy to the present genetic characterization of many feline genetic disease models. Nearly half of these diseases have homologous counterparts in human. Difficulties studying these defects in humans provide model organisms, like the domestic cat, with a unique opportunity to further inform human hereditary and infectious disease. Here I review the progress in the development of genomic mapping resources, the recent acquisition of a feline 2x genome sequence, and how these tools now equip feline geneticists to identify and characterize genes in cats causing comparable diseases or phenotypes in other species. The availability of such a mapping resource will enable positional cloning approaches and stimulate further development and use of the domestic cat as a model for human disease, while also enhancing the health of the species itself. The cat gene map also provides a useful tool in multispecies comparative genomic analyses to better understand the causes and consequences of chromosome breakage and evolution.

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