Aug 28, 2019 | GenomeWeb | Julia Karow

NEW YORK – The Genome 10K’s Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) and the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) are moving ahead in their quests to sequence the genomes of all living vertebrate species and all eukaryotic species, respectively.


During a presentation at a joint G10K-VGP/EBP meeting at Rockefeller University yesterday, members of the VGP, EBP, and affiliated projects outlined their progress and plans, including recent funding. They also discussed the significance of high-quality reference genomes for conservation projects, countering criticism that the genomic resources the projects generate may not come fast enough to address the rapid extinction of species through climate change and other human activities.

The VGP, first announced in early 2018, aims to generate high-quality genome assemblies that are nearly error free, complete, and haplotype-phased for all 71,500 or so living vertebrate species — a number that was recently revised from a previous 66,000. It plans to proceed in three phases, at an estimated total cost of about $600 million. The first phase will include one representative species for each of 260 vertebrate orders. VGP members decided to combine data from several technologies for this part of the project, including long reads from Pacific Biosciences, linked reads from 10x Genomics, optical maps from Bionano Genomics, and Hi-C proximity ligation data from Arima Genomics. Most of the data is being generated at sequencing labs at Rockefeller University, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden.

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