Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in


You are here: Home / Projects / Bovine Genome Sequencing

Bovine Genome Sequencing Program: Full-length cDNA Sequencing

This project is part of a large international effort to sequence the bovine genome.

Project Leaders Marco Marra , Robert Holt , Steven Jones , Stephen Moore
Involved Organizations
Funding Agencies
Genome Canada
Genome British Columbia



Project Resources and Information
Sequence Files
Bovine Full-length cDNA Sequencing


In the past 5 years, sequencing of the genomes of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms has become a tractable and realistic goal. With genomic sequencing and the identification of full length cDNAs, the identification of most if not all the genes and thus the proteins which comprise a organism are revealed. This enables a dramatic and unprecedented understanding of the biochemical complexity and molecular architecture of a given organism in health and disease. This promise, currently being realized for humans, holds true for cattle and there now exists an international effort to sequence the bovine genome.

The project was part of the larger Bovine Genome Sequencing Project (BGSP), an international initiative to sequence the entire Bovine genome in 3 – 5 years, led by the US National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), with contributions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; the state of Texas; Genome Canada through Genome British Columbia; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia (CSIRO); Agritech Investments Ltd., Dairy Insight, Inc. and AgResearch Ltd., all of New Zealand; the Kleberg Foundation; and, the National, Texas and South Dakota Beef Check-off Funds.

While the sequencing of the full genome is important, it is not the final step in the mining of gene information. Central to the full understanding of the bovine genome is the identification of the messenger RNAs encoded by the genome. This cataloguing of the full length bovine transcripts or cDNAs leads to nothing less than the identification and primary structure of all the proteins which define the cow. This can shed light on virtually all aspects of bovine biology including those pathways involving the prion protein implicated in Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

The Bovine Genome Sequencing Program: Full Insert cDNA Sequencing Project at the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre (GSC),  was funded by Genome Canada through Genome BC, succeeded in sequencing 9,984 clones, each representing a unique full-length transcript, over the 3 year period of this research study.

Key results from this research have been published in the journal Science.

Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, Elsik, CG, Tellam, RL, Worley, KC, Gibbs, RA, Muzny, DM, Weinstock, GM, Adelson, DL, Eichler, EE et al. The genome sequence of taurine cattle: a window to ruminant biology and evolution. Science 2009 Apr 24; 324(5926):522-8.

Contact Information

For all project related inquires please contact us.

Robyn Roscoe, Project Manager
Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency
Phone: 604-707-5900 x 6081
Fax: 604-876-3561