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Scientists have read the genome of over 360 bird species

Scientists sequenced the genome of species from almost all genera of the bird family, the BBC reported, as cited by BTA.
The catalogue of the genomes of 363 species, 267 of which were sequenced for the first time, was published in the magazine.”Nature. It contains data on over 92 per cent of bird families.

The aim of the project is to decipher the genome of all living bird species. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, a leading participant in the study through its vast collection of spesimen, points out that the project “will expand the study of bird evolution and help coservation of endangered bird species.”

Among the species covered by the study are extremely rare birds such as a species of quail, which inhabits only a small island in the Pacific Ocean. But it was this bird that was a “model” for exploring some extremes in bird evolution, including how giant flightless birds like ostriches evolved, says Dr Michael Brown of the Smithsonian.

Manchester Metropolitan University biologist Dr Alexander Lees compared the catalogue to a 'gold mine of information'. “It allows for a detailed examination of the tree of bird life and back in time, which could end long-standing disputes between evolutionary biologists over “who whose ancestor is it” in the bird family,” says Dr Lees.

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