Annotation Release 101 for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is out in RefSeq! This annotation was based on the NIST Tur_tru v1 assembly, which has a four-fold increase in contiguity from the assembly used in the previous annotation. Over four billion RNA-Seq reads from skin and blood tissue were used for gene prediction. As a result of these improvements, the percent of partially-represented protein-coding genes went down from 24% to 4%. Over 2500 genes that were fragmented in the previous assembly were merged into complete genes. A total of 24,026 genes were annotated, and 17,096 of them were protein-coding. A full report on the annotation can be found here.
This improved genomic resource for the dolphin will allow NIST to develop standardized research methods, produce reference data and tools, and perform bioanalytical measurements on dolphins and other marine organisms. Dolphins are important sentinel organisms for the health status of the marine environment and their study expands knowledge on cognition, communication, acoustics, conservation, and hydrodynamics.