The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) and the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) are among the last species that have been domesticated around 3000-6000 years ago. During domestication, strong artificial (anthropogenic) selection has shaped the livestock, creating a huge amount of phenotypes and breeds. Hence, domestic animals represent a unique resource to understand the genetic basis of phenotypic variation and adaptation. Similar to its late domestication history, the Bactrian camel is also among the last livestock animals to have its genome sequenced and deciphered. As no genomic data have been available until recently, we generated a de novo assembly by shotgun sequencing of a single male Bactrian camel. We obtained 1.6 Gb genomic sequences, which correspond to more than half of the Bactrian camel"s genome. The aim of this study was to identify heterozygous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and to estimate population parameters and nucleotide diversity based on an individual camel. With an average 6.6-fold coverage, we detected over 116 000 heterozygous SNPs and recorded a genome-wide nucleotide diversity similar to that of other domesticated ungulates. More than 20 000 (85%) dromedary expressed sequence tags successfully aligned to our genomic draft. Our results provide a template for future association studies targeting economically relevant traits and to identify changes underlying the process of camel domestication and environmental adaptation.
Animals Animals, Domestic/genetics Camels/classification Camels/genetics* Comparative Genomic Hybridization Contig Mapping Expressed Sequence Tags* Genetics, Population/methods* Genome Male Mutation Rate* Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide Sequence Analysis, DNA Species Specificity