Nature Conservation: Massive Butterfly Genome Project

Time-calibrated phylogenetic tree of USC butterflies constructed from all nuclear genes. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/829887v1.full
A genetic-relationship map (i.e., phylogenetic tree) of all the butterflies from USA and Canada

Article Summary

  • 845 butterfly genomes have been sequenced, these include all the butterflies of the United States and Canada!
  • Armed with the data, evolutionary biologists set out to create a tree that tracts the relationship between all the species
  • Isn’t that such a cool graphic?! This is my favourite part of Genetics = phylogenetic trees!
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Barchart Butterflies aRtVerse Teepublic

Why Is This Important?

  • Geneticists were able to track how certain species evolved, how genes and even proteins evolved over time – what made some survive and others not?
  • This could provide insight into evolution and speciation in general as well as giving us guidance on our own evolution through time

Read More Here

  1. Genomics of a complete butterfly continent – original bioRxiv scientific paper
  2. Every butterfly in the United States and Canada now has a genome sequence – Nature article

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