Genome Sequence Information Now Available for Fathead Minnow, a Premier Model for Research on Environmental Toxins; Next-Gen Sequencing Methods Key to Progress; Information Made Publicly Available

The fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) has long been a premier animal model for research and regulation related to environmental toxins. Unfortunately, however, genetic information about this species has been quite incomplete. The lack of genome sequence information for the species has limited scientists' ability to dissect complex traits, evaluate genetic markers, identify gene regulatory sequences, and elucidate biological pathways. Now, investigators have addressed the need for genome-scale information for the fathead minnow by generating in-depth sequence information using next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods and making both the sequence data and two draft genome assemblies publicly available. The information will enhance the utility of the fathead minnow as a model organism for studying the mechanisms of environmental toxins. "This research will help build the scientific foundation for greater use of predictive ecotoxicology and illustrates the collaborative synergy among industry, academia, and regulatory agency researchers," said Robert Hoke, Ph.D., lead author of the Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry study, which was published online on October 29, 2015. The article is titled “Sequencing and de novo Draft Assemblies of a Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas) Reference Genome.” Dr. Hoke is Principle Environmental Toxicologist at the Haskell Global Centers for Health and Environmental Sciences, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Newark, Delaware, USA. [Press release] [Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry abstract]
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