9 years after the publication of the mouse reference genome (C57BL/6J) researchers from UK, US and Germany published in Nature the genomes of another 17 mouse strains.
For a wide range of applications the mouse reference genome C57BL/6J has only been of limited use because a huge variety of strains are used in the mouse laboratories worldwide. According to the researchers the selected strains comprise the most commonly used strains of mice and their progenitors. Therefore the accessibility to the new genome sequencing data is a great step forward in the mouse research community.
Each of the 17 strains was sequenced to on average 25-fold coverage with Illumina sequencing technology. The 100 bp reads were mapped with high stringency to the reference mouse genome. When comparing the sequences that could be mapped uniquely on the mouse reference genome the researchers identified as much as 56.7 million SNPs in the 17 strains. Interestingly, this is almost an order of magnitude higher than the researches have expected based on earlier targeted resequencing studies. The published SNP data will be an excellent tool for mouse geneticians when looking on gene expression regulation and phenotype variations.
According to the GenomeWeb article the researchers plan to sequence even more strains and perform more de novo assemblies. Great news for all mouse researchers.