Assembling a T2T cattle genome with Oxford Nanopore reads


Eukaryotic genomes, especially of vertebrates, have, until recently, been difficult to completely assemble with existing technologies due to the highly repetitive DNA content of their chromosomes and limitations of genome assembly algorithms. Cattle (Bos Indicus) belongs to the bovine family and all the autosomes are acrocentric in structure. This presents unique challenges when attempting to assemble through the repeat-rich centromeres directly into repeat-rich sub-telomeric regions. We have leveraged the current advances in Oxford Nanopore sequencing technologies and produced a high-quality, haplotype-resolved genome assembly of cattle containing telomere-to-telomere (T2T) chromosomes using ultra-long sequence reads. The haplotype-resolved assemblies produced are more contiguous, with dramatically higher quality values than the current reference assembly.


Temitayo A. Olagunju is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Animal Genomics at the Brenda Murdoch Laboratory, University of Idaho, USA. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, after carrying out his doctoral research on plant genomics and bioinformatics at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan. He is currently involved with the Ruminant T2T Consortium — the bovine and the ovine pangenome projects, which are aimed at providing high-quality genomes for biological knowledge discovery.

Authors: Temitayo A. Olagunju