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Biological Pathways Associated with Wild and Domestic Animals

By Cayla Steemer, Laura Carson, Jim Hu and Gloria Regisford


Background: Zoonotic diseases are problematic, in that, they impact both wild and domestic animals alike. Thus, there is a need to investigate the genomes of wild and domestic. Gene ontology (GO) is a major bioinformatics initiative, whereby descriptions of gene products across the database are developed and unified to describe all species. This process is performed by biocurators, who gather, annotate, and validate information on the databases, consequently affording easy access to accurate and updated data. In this study, we investigated the biocuration of two biological processes, DNA integration, which is used for DNA coding, and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle that occurs in all aerobic organisms. The objective of this study was to compare the genomes of 271 mammals, birds, reptiles and some aquatic animals to determine the number of wild versus domesticated animals, where DNA integration and the TCA cycle have annotations. We hypothesized that there would be more annotations on domesticated animals than wild animals because of easier access to domesticated animal genomes. Methods: To test this hypothesis, we first accessed the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to retrieve the taxonomy ID for 271 species of animals found in this study. Then the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) database, QuickGO, was accessed to retrieve all annotations associated with the taxonomy ID of the species. Data was assembled into a wiki-database that is now publicly available online. Results and Conclusion: Data indicated that more annotations for DNA integration and the TCA cycle were 22% higher in domestic animals than in wild animals. Therefore, we propose that more biocuration needs to be done for wild animals. The number of wild animals’ sequences available are growing, but if they are not annotated, detailed investigations are not possible. If more resources are dedicated to the investigation of the genomes of wild animals, more work can be done to study the genetic factors affecting zoonotic diseases

Topics: bioinformatics, zoonotic diseases, wildlife, domesticated animals, Bioinformatics, Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences
Publisher: Digital Commons @PVAMU
Year: 2020
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