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J Hered. 2012 Jan-Feb;103(1):140-6. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esr104. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Short reads, circular genome: skimming solid sequence to construct the bighorn sheep mitochondrial genome.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada.


As sequencing technology improves, an increasing number of projects aim to generate full genome sequence, even for nonmodel taxa. These projects may be feasibly conducted at lower read depths if the alignment can be aided by previously developed genomic resources from a closely related species. We investigated the feasibility of constructing a complete mitochondrial (mt) genome without preamplification or other targeting of the sequence. Here we present a full mt genome sequence (16,463 nucleotides) for the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) generated though alignment of SOLiD short-read sequences to a reference genome. Average read depth was 1240, and each base was covered by at least 36 reads. We then conducted a phylogenomic analysis with 27 other bovid mitogenomes, which placed bighorn sheep firmly in the Ovis clade. These results show that it is possible to generate a complete mitogenome by skimming a low-coverage genomic sequencing library. This technique will become increasingly applicable as the number of taxa with some level of genome sequence rises.

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