Genome Reference Consortium

Genome Reference Consortium

Genome Reference Consortium



The Genome Reference Consortium (GRC) was founded in 2007 to improve the reference genome assemblies of human, mouse and zebrafish. One of the first tasks was to modernise the assembly model to make sure that complex variation within a species can be captured and represented. The GRC also guarantees INSDC submission and long term maintenance of all produced assemblies. All this is achieved through genome analysis and additional sequencing and collection of other data, for instance optical mapping. We collaborate with major players in the respective communties to obtain additional data helping us to identify and correct issues in the existing genome assemblies.


The GRC genome annotations are available as a trackhub at and can also be viewed in the genome evalution browser gEVAL. We provide a blog and an announcement list. You can report genome issues for review, or search regions under review, e.g. here.


The GRC is a collaboration between the The Wellcome Sanger Institute, represented by the Genome Reference Informatics Team, the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University (MGI), the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The NCBI hosts the GRC homepages.



  • Evaluation of GRCh38 and de novo haploid genome assemblies demonstrates the enduring quality of the reference assembly.

    Schneider VA, Graves-Lindsay T, Howe K, Bouk N, Chen HC et al.

    Genome research 2017;27;5;849-864

  • The zebrafish reference genome sequence and its relationship to the human genome.

    Howe K, Clark MD, Torroja CF, Torrance J, Berthelot C et al.

    Nature 2013;496;7446;498-503

  • Modernizing reference genome assemblies.

    Church DM, Schneider VA, Graves T, Auger K, Cunningham F et al.

    PLoS biology 2011;9;7;e1001091