A whole-genome assembly of the domestic cow, Bos taurus

Aleksey V. Zimin, Arthur L. Delcher, Liliana Florea, David R. Kelley, Michael C. Schatz, Daniela Puiu, Finnian Hanrahan, Geo Pertea, Curtis P. Van Tassell, Tad S. Sonstegard, Guillaume Marçais, Michael Roberts, Poorani Subramanian, James A. Yorke, Steven L. Salzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

773 Scopus citations


Background: The genome of the domestic cow, Bos taurus, was sequenced using a mixture of hierarchical and whole-genome shotgun sequencing methods. Results: We have assembled the 35 million sequence reads and applied a variety of assembly improvement techniques, creating an assembly of 2.86 billion base pairs that has multiple improvements over previous assemblies: it is more complete, covering more of the genome; thousands of gaps have been closed; many erroneous inversions, deletions, and translocations have been corrected; and thousands of single-nucleotide errors have been corrected. Our evaluation using independent metrics demonstrates that the resulting assembly is substantially more accurate and complete than alternative versions. Conclusions: By using independent mapping data and conserved synteny between the cow and human genomes, we were able to construct an assembly with excellent large-scale contiguity in which a large majority (approximately 91%) of the genome has been placed onto the 30 B. taurus chromosomes. We constructed a new cow-human synteny map that expands upon previous maps. We also identified for the first time a portion of the B. taurus Y chromosome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR42
JournalGenome biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 24 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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