21/10/2014 Life Scientist Article: “Researchers have sequenced 15,000 genes from the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, taking a significant first step in the characterisation and assembly of the koala genome. Generated from the genomes of two geographically separated koalas, one male and one female, the work was conducted by Dr Rebecca Johnson from the Australian Museum Research Institute, Professor Peter Timms at Queensland University of Technology and collaborators at the University of New South Wales……Genes specifically expressed in a range of different tissues including spleen, liver, uterus, kidney, lung, heart, brain, adrenal gland, bone marrow, lymph node, salivary gland, and testes were identified. Of putative protein sequences identified, 72% aligned to at least one sequence in the NCBI protein database, with the best alignments to sequences from other marsupials………The retrovirus is integrating into the koala genome, and in this research, koala retrovirus transcripts were detected in the transcriptomes of the two animals studied. Both koala genomes had sequences from the A subtype of the virus, but the male koala transcriptome also had sequences more closely related to the B subtype - the first report of a koala retrovirus B-like sequence in a wild population…….”
Cited Journal Article: Hobbs M et al (2014) A transcriptome resource for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): insights into koala retrovirus transcription and sequence diversity. BMC Genomics 2014, 15:786 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-786.