Wild Amur tiger genome sequence completed

Wild Amur tiger genome sequence completed

5 September 2018

Far Eastern researchers have completed the base sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the wild Amur tiger. Among the experts were representatives of the Federal Research Centre of Biodiversity of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Far Eastern Federal University and the Biology Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University.


Experts examined blood samples taken from a wild tigress captured in the Lazo District in Primorye in December 2016. At the time, the tigress was undergoing rehabilitation and a veterinary check-up at the Tiger Centre in the village of Alekseyevka. Since May 2018, the tigress has been living in the wild and exploring the Jewish Autonomous Region.


Mikhail Shchelkanov (DSc in Biology), project head and head of the molecular technology centre at Far Eastern University’s biomedicine school, said that the received sequence was handed over to the GenBank international database. It will be used in the study of tiger diseases, their links to relatives, as well as in making assessments and researching the population’s biological diversity.


“Besides this sequence, researchers know four more full-size mitochondrial genomes of Amur tigers, which were studied by our foreign colleagues. Three of them were received from animals in zoos. In another case, although the authors say that the tiger was wild, there is no confirmation in the article that the animal that was found dead in the Chinese city of Mishan was really taken from the wild and not from a tiger farm,” Shchelkanov said.