sees the announcement
in Nature by the Drosophila 12
Genomes Consortium of a further 10 drosophilid genome sequences, which were
the talk of the 48th Annual Drosophila
Research Conference earlier this year.
BioMed Central’s journals are publishing seven open
access companion papers analyzing these genome sequences. The papers in Genome Biology, BMC Genomics, BMC Evolutionary Biology and BMC Bioinformatics span a wide range of topics, including genome-wide surveys
of RNAs, codon usage, comparative genomics of gene families and the evolution
of gene order and sequences.
sequencing of the Drosophila
melanogaster genome at the turn of the millennium was a landmark in
genome research, acting as a stepping stone to
the human genome,
and furthering understanding of this
favourite model organism. The publication of the Drosophila
pseudoobscura genome built
upon this. As the Drosophila genus has over 2,000 known species,
there is enormous scope in sequencing further members of this genus to study
the molecular evolution of closely related genomes.
D. simulans and D. yakuba
were sequenced by the Washington University Genome Center, D. erecta, D.
ananassae, D. virilis, D. mojavensis and D. grimshawi were
sequenced by Agencourt, Inc., D. willistoni was sequenced by the J.
Craig Venter Institute, and D. persimilis and D. sechellia were
sequenced by the Broad Institute.
Among the articles published by BioMed Central, a
trio of papers studies global genomic patterns, looking at codon usage, sequence evolution and the evolution of gene order and
The addition of these 10 genomes to the roster of
completed genomes is a further milestone in comparative genomics. As
demonstrated by these companion studies, these sequences, along with the
already well-annotated genome of Drosophila melanogaster, are an
extremely useful tool in exploring speciation, evolution and development, and
should be indispensable for biologists.