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Ruminant Telomere-to-Telemere (T2T) Consortium

Cows in a field


The first draft human genome assembly was released over twenty years ago, but a gapless
telomere to telomere (T2T) “complete” assembly was elusive until last year. The highly
repetitive nature of the pericentromeric, subtelomeric and duplicated gene families such as the rRNA arrays made them impossible to assemble until advances in long read sequencing
technologies, coupled with new bioinformatic tools, resolved these structures. We recently
proposed application of these new resources, tools and knowledge in support of a “Ruminant T2T Consortium” with the goal of generating complete genomes for the ruminant evolutionary lineage.


The ruminant Suborder is represented by six Families and 66 living genera, found in
geographically dispersed areas, adapted to a wide variety of environments, and subjected to both
natural and artificial selection. Our hypothesis is that generating T2T assemblies of ruminant
species with a resolution from closely related (e.g. capable of interbreeding, even if only
generating sterile offspring) to higher evolutionary distance (up to the estimated 25 million
years ago last common ancestor) will inform our understanding of the underpinnings of
ruminant evolution, shed light on the genomic consequences of domestication, and enhance
our knowledge of the functional roles of heterochromatin and other repeat regions of the

Working Groups

The Ruminant T2T Consortium currently consists of 8 different working groups. See more about these groups and the members in each below.

Calves & Cow in Pasture
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