25 Genomes for 25 Years

25 Genomes for 25 Years

25 Genomes for 25 Years

The project's primary goal is to sequence 25 novel genomes representing UK biodiversity, as part of the Wellcome Sanger Institute's wider 25th Anniversary celebrations. This project will be a pathfinder for future long-read sequencing projects to demonstrate the Institute’s capabilities and will provide reference genomes for the global scientific community.

About the Partnership

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Outcomes

We hope that the provision by the Sanger Institute of reference genomes for 25 previously unsequenced UK species will lead to significant follow-on studies in population genetics, evolution studies, biodiversity management and conservation, and climate change effects.

Method

The Sanger Institute will perform DNA extraction, sequence using PacBio and Illumina X to 50x depth, perform 10x Chromium analysis, assemble the genomes and perform basic annotation.

Public engagement

There is also a significant public engagement aspect to the project to highlight the value of genomics and genetics to the wider community and to inspire young people to pursue STEM careers. This includes an online vote via the ‘I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here’ platform to determine five of the 25 species to be sequenced.

Data

Data generated will be released to the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) in accordance with the Sanger Institute's standard data release policies.

The 25 genomes

The 25 genomes represent five key areas of biodiversity in Britain.

Cryptic

Species that are out of sight, or have identical forms that are different in behaviour.

Brown trout - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Brown Trout

  • Latin name: Salmo trutta
  • The brown trout has three isoforms that differ in their migratory patterns, for no apparent reason
  • Research partners: Mark Ives, Fisheries and Aquaculture Scientist at CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science), Professor Sigbjørn Lien, Research Director, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), and Professor Paulo Prodohl School of Biological Sciences - Professor of Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Environmental Economics, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast
Common Pipistrelle bat - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Common Pipistrelle Bat

  • Latin name: Pipistrellus pipistrellus
  • Two species of this the common pipistrelle bat co-exist, the genetics of which have not been determined
  • Research partners: Emma Teeling, Associate Professor at UCD Dublin and Manuel Ruedi, Curator (mammals and ornithology) at the Natural History Museum of Geneva
Carrington’s Featherwort - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Carrington’s Featherwort

  • Latin name: Plagiochila carringtonii
  • Male Carringon featherworts are exclusively found in Scotland, while the females are in the Himalayas
  • Research partner: Neil Bell, Bryology Research Scientist at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh
Summer truffle - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Summer truffle

  • Latin name: Tuber aestivum
  • Summer Truffles grow underground and are some of the most expensive of all edible fungi. Known as mycorrhizal, these fungi form a symbiotic association with a host plant on which they are dependent throughout their lifecycle.
  • Research partner: Dr Paul Thomas, MD and Scientific Manager, Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd

Dangerous

Invasive and harmful species.

Giant Hogweed, Hercleum mantegazzianum, one of the species whose genome will be sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 Genomes for 25 Years project

Giant Hogweed

  • Latin name: Heracleum mantegazzianum
  • Giant Hogweed has been called Britain's most dangerous plant by UK newspapers. Its sap is highly toxic and can cause blistering of the skin following exposure to sunlight. The plant originates from Southern Russia and Georgia and was widely planted in ornamental gardens in the 1890s. It can grow more than 3 metres tall with flower heads up to 60cm wide.
  • Research partner: Sakshi Sharda, Ecole Polytechnique federale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Indian balsam - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Indian Balsam

  • Latin name: Impatiens glandulifera
  • A difficult to control invasive plant species spreading across the UK
  • Research partner: Lisa Outhwaite, Senior Gardener, Grounds team at the Wellcome Genome Campus
King Scallop, Great Scallop,  Coquilles Saint-Jacques - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

King Scallop, Great Scallop, Coquilles Saint-Jacques

  • Latin name: Pecten maximus
  • Some king scalllops harbour a dangerous toxin secreting bacteria
  • Research partner: Suzanne Williams, Head of Invertebrate Division at the Natural History Museum
New Zealand flatworm - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

New Zealand Flatworm

  • Latin name: Arthurdendyus triangulatus
  • This invasive species is a predator of UK earthworms
  • Research partners: Roy Neilson, Researcher at the James Hutton Institute and Rene Van der Wal, Professor of Ecology at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen and OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) at Imperial College London

Floundering

Endangered and declining species.

Red squirrel - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Red Squirrel

  • Latin name: Sciurus vulgaris
  • The 25 genomes for 25 years project may help reveal the genetic basis of the red squirrel's vulnerability to the squirrelpox virus
  • Research partners: Rachel Cripps, Red Squirrel Officer, The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, and Kat Fingland, Academic Associate, School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences (Nottingham Trent University)
Water vole - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Water Vole

  • Latin name: Arvicola amphibius
  • Understanding the genome of the water vole may help with population conservation management efforts
  • Research partner: Angus Carpenter, Head of education, training, research and conservation at the Wildwood Trust
Turtle dove - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Turtle Dove

  • Latin name: Streptopelia turtur
  • Studying the genome of the turtle dove may help with efforts to preserve the genetic diversity of the dwindling population
  • Research partners: Jenny Dunn, Lecturer in Animal Health and Disease at University of Lincoln and John Mallord, Senior Conservation Scientist at the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
Northern February red stonefly - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Northern February Red Stonefly

  • Latin name: Brachyptera putata
  • The genome of the Northern February red stonefly may help identify the genetic determinants of its need to live in its niche habitat
  • Research partner: Craig Macadam, Conservation Director at Buglife

Flourishing

Species on the up in the UK.

Grey squirrel - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Grey Squirrel

  • Latin name: Sciurus carolinensis
  • This squirrel harbours the squirrelpox virus with apparently no ill effects
  • Research partner: Graham Smith, Head of Wildlife Epidemiology and Modelling at the Animal and Plant Health Agency
Ringlet butterfly - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Ringlet Butterfly

  • Latin name: Aphantopus hyperantus
  • The ringlet butterly can fly in overcast skies and has a dwarf variety at higher altitutes
  • Research partner: To be announced
Roesel's Bush-cricket - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Roesel's Bush-Cricket

  • Latin name: Metrioptera roeselii
  • This species is now spreading out of it's usual salty habitats, is there a genetic change that has allowed this?
  • Research partners: Peter Sutton, Science Teacher at Redbourne Upper School and Björn Beckmann, Outreach and Recording Officer at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Oxford ragwort - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Oxford Ragwort

  • Latin name: Senecio squalidus
  • This plant has some intersting reproduction habits and unknown species origin
  • Research partner: Lisa Outhwaite, Senior Gardener, Grounds team at the Wellcome Genome Campus

Iconic

Species that represent the British countryside.

Golden eagle - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Golden Eagle

  • Latin name: Aquila chrysaetos chrysaetos
  • There are only 440 breeding pairs of golden eagle left in the UK
  • Research partners: Rob Ogden, Head of Conservation Genetics, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (Edinburgh) and Anna Meredith, Personal Chair of Zoological and Conservation Medicine, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Blackberry - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Blackberry

  • Latin name: Rubus ulmifolius
  • The blackberry is ubiquitous in the UK, yet it is understudied
  • Research partner: Lisa Outhwaite, Senior Gardener, Grounds team at the Wellcome Genome Campus
European robin - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

European Robin

  • Latin name: Erithacus rubecula
  • European robins have magneto-receptors in their eyes that may allow them to 'see' magnetic fields
  • Research partners: Derek Gruar, Senior Research Assistant, Conservation Science at the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and Jenny Dunn, Lecturer in Animal Health and Disease at the University of Lincoln
Red Mason Bee - one the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced as part of the Sanger Institute's 25 years anniversary celebrations

Red Mason Bee

  • Latin name: Osmia bicornis
  • The Red Mason Bee is about the size of a honeybee, but unlike honey bees they are solitary, with the females making nests in empty holes or stems of plants. These bees also prefer slightly colder temperatures which may result in them struggling in future due to climate change.
  • Research partner: David Notton, Senior curator (Insects division) at the Natural History Museum

Public vote

Five species were decided by a public vote through I'm a scientist get me out of here platform:

The five chosen by the public are:

    Common Starfish (Asteris rubens), one of the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced by the Sanger Institute as part of its 25 Genomes for 25 Years Project

    Common Starfish

    • Latin name: Asterias rubens
    • Asterias rubens is the most common starfish species around the coast of the UK. An understanding of the adhesives starfish use to pull apart the mussels they feed on could lead to the development of novel bioadhesives for medical surgery. Whereas, the remarkable ability of starfish to regenerate their arms could provide important new insights in regenerative medicine.
    Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius), one of the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced by the Sanger Institute for its 25 Genomes for 25 Years Project

    Fen Raft Spider

    • Latin name: Dolomedes plantarius
    • The fen raft spider is one of the UK’s rarest animals, but they’re coming back. After 6,000 spiders were released, monitoring shows that populations are on the up. Genomics could shed light on how they are coping, and reveal secrets of the spider’s venom that could be useful in medicine, and how its silk could help improve mechanical engineering.
    Lesser Spotted Catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula), one of the 25 species whose genome is being sequenced by the Sanger Institute as part of its 25 Genomes for 25 Years Project

    Lesser Spotted Catshark

    • Latin name: Scyliorhinus canicula
    • The lesser spotted catshark’s egg-cases or ‘mermaid’s purses’ are frequently found along the UK coastline. Understanding the shark’s ability to regenerate teeth and skin could help us heal human wounds.
    Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarina) one of the 25 species whose genome will be sequenced by the Sanger Institute as part of its 25 Genomes for 25 Years project

    Asian Giant Hornet

    • Latin name: Vespa mandarinia
    • The Asian Hornet is an invasive species native to South East Asia, which is invading Europe at a rate of 100km every year. It is a voracious predator of insects, especially honeybees, and poses a negative impact on the beekeeping industry. Sequencing its genome could help in the design of specific pesticides to control its invasion, and give insights into social living in bees.
    Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), one of the 25 species that will be sequenced by the Sanger Institute for its 25 genomes for 25 years project

    Eurasian Otter

    • Latin name: Lutra lutra
    • The Eurasian otter is a keystone species in the UK, but the population is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List. Their position at the top of the freshwater food chain means otters serve as an environmental indicator species, and they can give clues about the pollution of their environment. Sequencing the otter genome will open the door for research into otters adaptations, parasites, scent communication and behaviour, and will ultimately help in protecting them.

    Administration/Contact

    • Project lead - Dr Julia Wilson, Associate Director, Director's Office, Wellcome Sanger Institute
    • Project coordinator- Daniel Mead, Project Coordinator for 25 Genomes for 25 Years, Director's Office, Wellcome Sanger Institute

    Sanger Team Partners

    Partners and Funders