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How Can We Use Next-Generation Sequencing to Protect Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. The consequences of biodiversity loss include increased sensitivity to natural disasters and increased global warming effects. Our prospects for discovery and advancement will decrease as species become extinct. Preventing the extinction of endangered species and conserving their natural habitats is therefore vital for us and the next generations.

With the development of biotechnology, researchers’ understanding of biodiversity protection and safety is improving. The Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, in particular, provide for a more precise and comprehensive description of biodiversity at any level of biological organization than any prior technology, information that may utilize to build more systemic conservation and management plans.

As a top performer in the genetic sequencing industry, Novogene continuously conducts research on various species with advanced genomics technology and biological solid information processing & analysis capabilities. Novogene’s sequencing technologies provide new opportunities for researchers to better grasp population conservation and species community adaptation. These ground-breaking projects give comprehensive information on forest health ecosystems and endangered species management tactics.

Since 2014, Novogene has collaborated with numerous outstanding scientific research teams to complete genomic analyses of several species -the research organisms range from terrestrial to marine, which actively contributes to biodiversity conservation. There is no better time to review these studies.

By the whole genome sequencing of the colobines-the old world monkey, the demographic profile of its various species was reconstructed with better understanding. This research assembled the whole genome of colobines, and analyses the genome of a male golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana). It offered new insights into the dietary adaptations and evolutionary history of colobine primates. [1]

A recently completed study with Hongxin Xie and his team was research on Chinese Crocodile Lizards. In this study, genomic data is used to assist researchers in understanding how genetic purging works in tiny natural populations of Chinese crocodile lizards.  [2]

The sable’s entire genome sequencing and annotation provide significant information about the species’ geographic range and origin. The OR gene analysis adds to our understanding of the sable. [3]

The nautilus, a “living fossil,” is critically endangered and may face extinction. The lack of genomic data makes it challenging to understand its biology and evolution. However, the analysis of its genomics could help save this endangered species. In the study completed by Caihuan Ke’s team [4], we have jointly conducted research on the nautilus gene and its genomic evolution and vision.

In the research of Hog deer (Axis porcinus), Jianqiu Yu’s team sequenced and de novo assembled its genome sequence and comprehensively annotated 22,473 protein-coding genes, 37,019 tRNAs, and 1,058 Mb repeated sequences. The newly created reference genome is expected to make a significant contribution to comparative genomic biology and evolution within the Cervidae family. [5]

The de novo genome of a versatile species was sequenced and analyzed in depth from many initiatives. Future population genetics studies will benefit from such research. We also investigated the genome of Glyptosternon maculatum to understand adaptive evolution better. [6]

Biodiversity is more than simply collecting plants and animals on earth; it is about local ecosystems and promoting healthy conditions for organisms to thrive. While protecting biodiversity sounds like a daunting task, there is a lot we can do to achieve our mission: advancing genomics, improving life. Novogene has always been in action to build a shared future for all life.

1.Zhou, X., Wang, B., Pan, Q., Zhang, J., Kumar, S., Sun, X., … & Li, M. (2014). Whole-genome sequencing of the snub-nosed monkey provides insights into folivory and evolutionary history. Nature genetics, 46(12), 1303-1310.

2.Xie, H. X., Liang, X. X., Chen, Z. Q., Li, W. M., Mi, C. R., Li, M., … & Du, W. G. (2022). Ancient demographics determine the effectiveness of genetic purging in endangered lizards. Molecular biology and evolution, 39(1), msab359.

3.Liu, G., Zhao, C., Xu, D., Zhang, H., Monakhov, V., Shang, S., … & Zhang, H. (2020). First draft genome of the sable, Martes zibellina. Genome biology and evolution, 12(3), 59-65.

4.Huang, Z., Huang, W., Liu, X., Han, Z., Liu, G., Boamah, G. A., Wang, Y., Yu, F., Gan, Y., Xiao, Q., Luo, X., Chen, N., Liu, M., You, W., & Ke, C. (2022). Genomic insights into the adaptation and evolution of the nautilus, an ancient but evolving “living fossil”. Molecular Ecology Resources, 22,15-27.

5.Wang W, Yan HJ, Chen SY, Li ZZ, Yi J, Niu LL, Deng JP, Chen WG, Pu Y, Jia X, Qu Y, Chen A, Zhong Y, Yu XM, Pang S, Huang WL, Han Y, Liu GJ, Yu JQ. The sequence and de novo assembly of hog deer genome. Sci Data. 2019 Jan 8;6:180305.

6.Haiping Liu, Qiyong Liu, Zhiqiang Chen, Yanchao Liu, Chaowei Zhou, Qiqi Liang, Caixia Ma, Jianshe Zhou, Yingzi Pan, Meiqun Chen, Wangjiu, Wenkai Jiang, Shijun Xiao, Zhenbo Mou, Draft genome of Glyptosternon maculatum, an endemic fish from Tibet Plateau, GigaScience, Volume 7, Issue 9, September 2018, giy104.