A new whole bovine genome assembly is published today in Genome Biology by Steven Salzberg and colleagues. The authors employed the latest computational assembly techniques, combining the sequencing data with independent mapping and cow-human synteny data, to produce an assembly in which 91% of the genome has been assembled onto the Bos taurus chromosomes, including the first ever partial assembly of the Y chromosome. The new assembly corrects many errors and closes gaps from previous assemblies and will no doubt be a valuable resource for the cow genetics and comparative mammalian genomics communities.
Salzberg and colleagues use raw sequence data generated by the Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium at the Baylor College of Medicine, who also publish an assembly today in Science. Deanna Church and LaDeana Hillier discuss the implications of having two genome assemblies for the research community and genome databases in a thought-provoking Opinion article; they also tackle the broader issues of sequence data sharing and management in the post-genomic era.