Birds genetic mysteries exposed to global DNA research

    Birds genetic mysteries exposed to global DNA research

    The genome – genes or codes of life – from almost every bird branch of the tree family has been sequenced and documented by scientists.

    The Nature journal reports 363 species’ genomes, of which 267 are first sequenced.

    The list currently includes over 92% of the avian families of the planet.

    Dr Michael Braun, from the Smithsonian Institution, told the BBC News that “Darwin was fascinated and told us about it.”

    “It’s all with the gene coded,” he added, “from the wildly varying colored feathers, from giant ostrich to reduced wren and raptor flux velocities of up to 300 km/h.

    Birds genetic mysteries exposed to global DNA research

    And he added that this landmark was the start.

    Finally, the initiative seeks to provide a genome from all living bird species. In its extensive collection of collections, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, which contributes greatly to the development of birds and the survival of endangered species, has said that this will “advance studies on bird evolution.”

    Rare animals like the Henderson crake, which lives on only a few Pacific Islands, are also included in the catalog of sequences.

    But Dr. Braun has suggested that the “model animal” is the humble chicken to research any drastic example of avian growth – like how huge, flightless birds such as Ostrich have grown.

    “We researched the production of limbs in the chicken intensively,” he said.

    “Birds such as the ostrich and emu can be used to this category of birds, which we call ratits.

    “There are a number of improvements in limb morphology with the development of flightlessness, wings get shorter, flight feathers are useless, their legs are becoming longer and their toes lose as they fly, rather than perching.

    “You have the information – the code – of how this happens with these tools.”
    Dr Alexander Lees named the catalog a “gold mine” of knowledge, the conservation biologist of the Metropolitan University of Manchester.

    ‘The tree of life – which extends back in deep ages – makes a refined look to close the door to protracted debates among evolutionary biologists about whose’ common ancestor,’ he said.

    More than 60 recent global endangered species evidence will also be a “crucial toolkit for geneticists in conservation.”

    “This is information that may prove crucial in reducing extinction risk in the long term for species with tiny population sizes today,” Dr Lees added.

    Birds genetic mysteries exposed to global DNA research

    Rajat Singh
    Rajat Singh is the Editor-in-chief at Bioinformatics India, he is a Master's in Bioinformatics and validates all the data present on this website. Independent of his academic qualifications he is a marketing geek and loves to explore trends in SEO, Keyword research, Web design & UI/UX improvement.

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