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Open Access Open Badges Commentary

Genome empowerment for the Puerto Rican parrot – Amazona vittata

Stephen J O’Brien

Author Affiliations

Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

GigaScience 2012, 1:13  doi:10.1186/2047-217X-1-13

Published: 28 September 2012


A unique community-funded project in Puerto Rico has launched whole-genome sequencing of the critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata), with interpretation by genome bioinformaticians and students, and deposition into public online databases. This is the first article that focuses on the whole genome of a parrot species, one endemic to the USA and recently threatened with extinction. It provides invaluable conservation tools and a vivid example of hopeful prospects for future genome assessment of so many new species. It also demonstrates inventive ways for smaller institutions to contribute to a field largely considered the domain of large sequencing centers.

Puerto Rican parrot; Whole-genome sequencing; Genomics; Conservation; Education; Funding