A recent study, affiliated with the Korean Genomics Industrialization and Commercialization Center (KOGIC) at South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), has presented the first whole genome sequence and analyses of Myotis rufoniger, one of the most well-known and iconic protected wild animals in South Korea, known as the golden bat. This breakthrough comes from a research effort, conducted by Professor Jong Bhak of Life Science at UNIST and Professor Doug-Young Ryu of Veterinary Medicine at Seoul National University in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration. Recent studies have indicated that bats live longer than any other mammals of their sizes on earth. Myotis rufoniger is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is a rare bat species that faces imminent threat of disappearance from the face of Earth. Being designated as Korean natural monument No. 452, only 450 to 500 of these bats survive in the wild in South Korea, presently. The reseach team expects that their new study will provide a genetic foundation for the restoration and conservation of the critically endangered M. rufoniger. In the study, published online on July 5, 2017 in PLOS ONE, the research team, led by Professor Bhak's research group, provides a whole genome analysis of M. rufoniger by producing massively parallel short DNA sequences with its genomic features and unique amino acid sequences, accompanied by its demographic history and genetic diversity.
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