Marilyn B. Renfree, The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Kangaroo Genomics
Anthony T. Papenfuss, University of Melbourne
Janine E. Deakin, The Australian National University
James Lindsay, University of Connecticut
Thomas Heider, University of Connecticut
Katherine Belov, University of Sydney
Willem Rens, University of Cambridge
Paul D. Waters, The Australian National University
Elizabeth A. Pharo, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Geoff Shaw, The University of Melbourne
Emily S. W. Wong, University of Sydney
Christophe M. Lefevre, Deakin University
Kevin R. Nicholas, Deakin University
Yoko Kuroki, RIKEN Institute
Matthew J. Wakefield, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Kyall R. Zenger, University of Sydney
Chenwei Wang, University of Sydney
Malcolm Ferguson-Smith, University of Cambridge
Frank W. Nicholas, University of Sydney
Danielle Hickford, The University of Melbourne
Hongshi Yu, The University of Melbourne
Kirsty R. Short, The University of Melbourne
Hannah V. Siddle, University of Sydney
Stephen R. Frankenberg, The University of Melbourne
Keng Yih Chew, The University of Melbourne
Brandon R. Menzies, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
Jessica M. Stringer, The University of Melbourne
Shunsuke Suzuki, The University of Melbourne
Timothy A. Hore, The Babraham Institute
Margaret L. Delbridge, The Australian National University
Amir Mohammadi, The Australian National University
Nanette Y. Schneider, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Yanqiu Hu, Harvard Medical School
William O'Hara, University of Connecticut
Shafagh Al Nadaf, The Australian National University
Chen Wu, University of Sydney
Zhi-Ping Feng, The University of Melbourne
Benjamin G. Cocks, Biosciences Research Division
Jianghui Wang, Biosciences Research Division
Paul Flicek, European Bioinformatics Institute
Stephen M. J. Searle, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Susan Fairley, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Kathryn Beal, European Bioinformatics Institute
Javier Herrero, European Bioinformatics Institute
Dawn M. Carone, University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolFollow
Yutaka Suzuki, The University of Tokyo
Sumio Sugano, The University of Tokyo
Atsushi Toyoda, National Institute of Genetics
Yoshiyuki Sakaki, RIKEN Institute
Shinji Kondo, RIKEN Institute
Yuichiro Nishida, RIKEN Institute
Shoji Tatsumoto, RIKEN Institute
Ion Mandiou, University of Connecticut
Arthur Hsu, The University of Melbourne
Kaighin A. McColl, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Benjamin Lansdell, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
George Weinstock, Baylor College of Medicine
Elizabeth Kuczek, University of Queensland
Annette McGrath, University of Queensland
Peter Wilson, University of Queensland
Artem Men, University of Queensland
Mehlika Hazar-Rethinam, University of Queensland
Allison Hall, University of Queensland
John Davis, University of Queensland
David Wood, University of Queensland
Sarah Williams, University of Queensland
Yogi Sundaravadanam, University of Queensland
Donna M. Muzny, Baylor College of Medicine
Shalini N. Jhangiani, Baylor College of Medicine
Lora R. Lewis, Baylor College of Medicine
Margaret B. Morgan, Baylor College of Medicine
Geoffrey O. Okwuonu, Baylor College of Medicine
San Juana Ruiz, Baylor College of Medicine
Jireh Santibanez, Baylor College of Medicine
Lynne Nazareth, Baylor College of Medicine
Andrew Cree, Baylor College of Medicine
Gerald Fowler, Baylor College of Medicine
Christie L. Kovar, Baylor College of Medicine
Huyen H. Dinh, Baylor College of Medicine
Vandita Joshi, Baylor College of Medicine
Chyn Jing, Baylor College of Medicine
Fremiet Lara, Baylor College of Medicine
Rebecca Thornton, Baylor College of Medicine
Lei Chen, Baylor College of Medicine
Jixin Deng, Baylor College of Medicine
Yue Liu, Baylor College of Medicine
Joshua Y. Shen, Baylor College of Medicine
Xing-Zhi Song, Baylor College of Medicine
Janette Edson, University of Queensland
Carmen Troon, University of Queensland
Daniel Thomas, University of Queensland
Amber Stephens, University of Queensland
Lankesha Yapa, University of Queensland
Tanya Levchenko, University of Queensland
Richard A. Gibbs, Baylor College of Medicine
Desmond W. Cooper, The University of New South Wales
Terence P. Speed, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Asao Fujiyama, National Institute of Informatics
Jennifer A.M. Graves, The Australian National University
Rachel J. O'Neill, University of Connecticut
Andrew J. Pask, The University of Melbourne
Susan M. Forrest, University of Queensland
Kim C. Worley, Baylor College of Medicine

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology



Document Type



Macropodidae; Genome


Genetics and Genomics | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: We present the genome sequence of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, which is a member of the kangaroo family and the first representative of the iconic hopping mammals that symbolize Australia to be sequenced. The tammar has many unusual biological characteristics, including the longest period of embryonic diapause of any mammal, extremely synchronized seasonal breeding and prolonged and sophisticated lactation within a well-defined pouch. Like other marsupials, it gives birth to highly altricial young, and has a small number of very large chromosomes, making it a valuable model for genomics, reproduction and development.

RESULTS: The genome has been sequenced to 2 x coverage using Sanger sequencing, enhanced with additional next generation sequencing and the integration of extensive physical and linkage maps to build the genome assembly. We also sequenced the tammar transcriptome across many tissues and developmental time points. Our analyses of these data shed light on mammalian reproduction, development and genome evolution: there is innovation in reproductive and lactational genes, rapid evolution of germ cell genes, and incomplete, locus-specific X inactivation. We also observe novel retrotransposons and a highly rearranged major histocompatibility complex, with many class I genes located outside the complex. Novel microRNAs in the tammar HOX clusters uncover new potential mammalian HOX regulatory elements.

CONCLUSIONS: Analyses of these resources enhance our understanding of marsupial gene evolution, identify marsupial-specific conserved non-coding elements and critical genes across a range of biological systems, including reproduction, development and immunity, and provide new insight into marsupial and mammalian biology and genome evolution.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Genome Biol. 2011 Aug 29;12(8):R81. Link to article on publisher's site


© 2011 Renfree et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

A correction for this article has been published in Genome Biology 2011, 12:414.

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