Scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences have sequenced the gazami crab genome. The best way to understand an organism is to understand its genetic makeup, also known as its genome. Once the code is understood, it reveals many secrets about how living things work. Researchers plan to study the genetics of growth and reproduction, and the genome will be open to the public, allowing scientists anywhere to study different aspects of the gazami crab.
“It’s the chromosomes that make crabs successful,” said Sook Chung, a professor at the Center for Environmental Sciences at the University of Maryland, a crab biology expert who led the project at the Institute for Marine Environmental Technology in Baltimore. “I know completely genome, We are approaching several steps in identifying the genes responsible for growth, reproduction, and susceptibility to disease. “
Researchers have determined that the gazami crab has 40 to 50 chromosomes. This is almost twice the amount found in humans. However, these chromosomes are very short, resulting in a genome that is about one-third the length of the human genome in terms of bases. Despite its relatively small size, the blue crab genome is rich in gene diversity, containing about 24,000 genes, slightly higher than the amount identified in humans.
Understanding the potential for successful crab breeding can help with fishing policies in areas such as the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, and help maintain healthy ecosystems and economies. Breeding particularly fertile females can help enable the production of gazami crabs in aquaculture. This genome could also be used to track food sources to determine if the crab masses on the market came from the coastal bays of Venezuela or Maryland.
The genome is the DNA sequence of a chromosome that dictates how an organism grows and develops. Once the code is understood, it reveals many secrets about how living things work. Understanding the “blueprint” of an organism can help us understand which genetic features are particularly successful in crab breeding or adapt to changes in water temperature caused by climate change.
Since the genome within a species varies from individual to individual, the genome mapping project begins with selecting the best possible sample organism. In late October 2018, Chung sailed to Chesapeake Bay on a clubber boat to collect dozens of young female blues. crab It breeds at the Aquaculture Research Center (ARC) of the Institute for Marine Environmental Technology. One female grew into an adult, mated, successfully gave birth to offspring, and proved to have a gene suitable for reproduction. Scientists have isolated DNA from this crab’s daughter for sequencing.
The order of the genetic code determines how an organism grows and develops. When the genetic code is sequenced, it is first jumbled from its proper order. The process of ordering code correctly, or “assembly,” required a special computer that could run day and night for more than six months.
“Imagine taking several volumes of an encyclopedia and having 100 copies of each volume. You need to shred them all and use them to reconstruct the original volume of the encyclopedia.” Said Tsvetan Bachvaroff, Associate Research Professor. , Was in charge of assembling the Gazami crab genome. “Once the encyclopedia, or genome, is back in the correct order, you can identify the gene and use it like a reference book to look up the gene and answer questions.”
A team of researchers led by Professor Sook Chung, a comparative molecular endocrine scholar, included bioinformatics and vice-research professor Tsvetan Bachvaroff. Population geneticist and associate professor Luis Plow and associate researcher Ryan McDonald completed the project in four years.
“Sequencing the entire genome with four scientists in just four years was a major scientific achievement,” said Russell Hill, secretary general of the Institute for Marine Environmental Technology. “The genome will be open to scientists for use everywhere and will invigorate decades of research on gazami crabs and other crustaceans.”
The paper was published in G3: Genes | Genome | Genetics..
Chromosome-level genome assembly of Tsvetan R Bachvaroff et al, Gazami crab, Callinectes sapidus, G3 Gene | Genome | Genetics (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / g3journal / jkab212
Quote: Https: //phys.org/news/2021-10-blue-crab-genetic-code.html Decryption of the blue crab genetic code (October 4, 2021) obtained on October 4, 2021
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