Domestication of goats happened already thousands of years ago. Nowadays they are also used as models for biomedical research. However, one thing was still missing: a reference genome. Researchers from China could now close this gap by successfully sequencing the genome of a domestic goat.
To reveal the secrets of the goat genome the researchers applied a hybrid approach of Illumina shotgun sequencing and whole genome mapping (WGM) using the Argus system from Opgen. As a result, the number of scaffolds could be reduced from 2,090 to 315. This demonstrates that whole-genome mapping for large genomes can be a replacement for traditional genetic maps for de novo assembly (Dong et. al).
This reference genome can now be used for mapping reads of other goats to identify SNPs and other variants that could play a role for breeding, cashmere fiber prodcution or different goat behaviours (Dong et. al).