• Genomic analysis of the Iberian lynx confirms that it is one of the species with the least genetic diversity among individuals, which means that it has little margin for adaptation.
  • The research, which is published today in Genome Biology , has been coordinated by scientists at the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC).
  • The use of new genomic resources will contribute to optimizing management aimed at preserving the maximum genetic diversity.


Candiles is the lynx chosen by cyentist to unveil the genome of this species. But he is not the only one who is under the microscope. Lynxgenomics' team is working in parallel with samples taken from another ten iberian lynx and one more from an european lynx. 

The Iberian Lynx can be in a so called 'extinction vortex', an spiral that inevitably would lead to its disappearance if extraordinary measures are not taken to avoid their genetic impoverishment and deterioration.

A downward spiral, wich is like a vortex.

Alfonso Valencia is the director of the Structural Computational Biology Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), wich is involved in the Lynxgenomics project. They are focussed on the transposons' study, an specific area in the genome...

A study carried out by researchers at the Spanish National Museum of Natural Sciences and the Estación Biológica de Doñana, both adscribed to CSIC, establishes that inbred lynxes tend to have higer levels of abnormal sperm.

Three puppies during 2011\u0027s breeding season. Photo: Lynexitu programme.

Ever wondered why giraffes has that amazing long neck? For the first time, the genomes of this African rumiant and its closest living relative, the okapi, have been sequenced. They have revealed the first clues about the genetic changes that led to the evolution of the giraffe's exceptionally long neck and its record-holding ranking as the world's tallest land species.

The New York Times reflects on the possibilities and the risk of the new genomic techniques for twisting genes. Scientist are following this line of research, for example, to fight against mosquitoes and stopping Zika spreading, but it could be used to preserve biodiversity too.

A team of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) shrinks the size of the genes in the human genome to only 19,000  and unveils that over 99% of human protein coding genes have an origin that predates primates by over 50 million years.

A study on birds in Seyselles islands reveals another potential negative consequence of breeding with relatives: shorter lifespans. 

The Amur tiger is so called Siberian tiger.

Big cats experienced speedy genome changes that turned them into carnivores, although, surprisingly, they still share more than 95% of their genetic information with domestic cats. Scientists mapped the genome of a 9 year old male Amur tiger and compared it with the white Bengal tiger, the African lion, the white African lion and the snow leopard.

The Elephant shark is a living fossil.

The elephant shark is a 'living fossil' fish who earned his name from the bottom of his face, that resembles the end of an elephant's trunk.  

It has turned to be the most slowest evolving genome of all known vertebrates, whose DNA has barely changed over hundreds of millions of years. 

An international team of scientist from 12 institutions analyzed it's genome and their foundlings shed light into bone creation carrying potential implications for human bone disease treatment like osteoporosis.

The Florida panther lives in the South east of United States.

The Florida panther is still alive, they went through huge problems, were on the brink of extinction and now are back thanks to an genetic management program. 

This light brown coloured panther used to roamed the southeaster US, but it's massive hunting since 1832 and the destruction of their habitat isolated them by the middle of the 20'. 

Snowflake in its latest days.

Born in the wild in Equatorial Guinea, Snowflake called the Barcelona Zoo home for almost 40 years before dying of skin cancer in 2003, during which time he fathered 22 offspring with three different females.

The decline in Iberian lynx numbers has had a dramatic effect on the genetic variation of the species. The analysis of contemporary nuclear microsatellite marker variation revealed levels of diversity that are extremely low compared to other species of cats.

Aliaga\u0027s puppies.

Evolutionary biologists at the University of Toronto (USA) have found that individuals with low-quality genes may produce offspring with even more inferior chromosomes, possibly leading to the extinction of certain species over generations. The fruitfly was a study model.

  • The evolution of their genetic profile had made changes to their sense of flavour. International research has sequenced the pig genome. Results have revealed after ten years of joint efforts.
  • 150 scientist from 12 countries had been involved. Pigs share 84% genes with humans.
The Texel is the breed used to build the sheep genome.

It has taken eight years to complete the domestic sheep genome. The research unveils unique characteristics of this animals which made them different from the others, like their fat metabolism process that is linked to their skin and wool coat. 

The tomato genome has tripled several times in a row about 60 million years ago, which would have been able to survive ice ages, as recorded an international research that has  sequenced its genome. 

The newly deciphered genome of the hairless, underground-dwelling, long-lived and cancer-resistant naked mole rat could help researchers unravel the creature's secrets, and may help improve human health ej, with better treatments for human disease.

Unlike common chimpanzees, bonobos seem to use sex to resolve disputes. An 18-year-old female named Ulindi has now become the first bonobo to have its genome sequenced.

A pair of bonobos.

The Iberian lynx is subjected to an intense monitoring and active management program that includes an ex-situ conservation program, translocations of individuals and a reintroduction program, whose first releases were performed in late 2009. The scientific monitoring of these actions entails a complete medical or post-mortem analysis.

The Iberian lynx is healthy than other carnivores due to his diet, based on rabbit. They have lower organochlorine compounds (PCB) levels than other carnivores who eat reptiles, as its shown in a EBD's research.

An international team of researchers shows that polar bears evolved as early as 600,000 years ago. 

Una oso polar junto a su cría.
What for?

The Iberian lynx has become a dramatic case of a species at the verge of extinction. And is also one of the most studied species, which makes it a unique study model for conservation genomics, to investigate the effects of declining genetic diversity and its implication on reproduction, health and even behaviour.

The Estación Biológica de Doñana is heading a national research to build the first lynx genome, involving six research centers and more than thirty scientist. It'll be an essential tool to find the impacts of the loss of biodiversity.

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