Vertebrate Genomes Project Will Create a Digital Genome Ark; DNAnexus to Support Reference Assemblies of All Vertebrate Species

Global research consortium leverages DNAnexus cloud-based platform to scale analyses for the world’s animal kingdom

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--DNAnexus, the global leader in genome informatics and data management, today announced that the Genome10K’s (G10K) Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) will utilize the DNAnexus Platform in assembling and analyzing genomes of all vertebrate species, including 8,000 priority endangered species.

DNAnexus is working with Erich Jarvis, PhD, Chair of G10K, and more than 176 researchers in the VGP collaboration. Jarvis is a professor at the Rockefeller University and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. By sequencing the complete genomes of these species, the project will create a digital Genome Ark library and provide a unique opportunity to help save and document species that are on the brink of extinction. Vertebrate genomes also have tremendous potential to teach us more about human evolution.

By sequencing the genomes of 8,000 vertebrate species that are endangered, researchers can identify those species that are most vulnerable by looking at the level of diversity in their genome. Funds must still be raised to eventually sequence all 66,000 vertebrate species. The G10K consortium has begun Phase I, the sequencing of species representing all vertebrate orders that evolved before and soon after the last mass extinction event 66 million years ago.

DNAnexus provides this ambitious initiative:

  • A secure and unified platform connecting thousands of scientists around the world
  • A scalable environment to assemble thousands of genomes and allow collaboration around petabyte-sized genomic analysis results
  • Transparency, reproducibility and data provenance for consistency amongst VGP pipelines and results

“The research and scientific vision of Dr. Jarvis and the G10K leadership is fundamental in advancing our understanding of vertebrate evolution and preserving species that are in danger of extinction,” said Richard Daly, CEO of DNAnexus. “DNAnexus is proud to be supporting the VGP and helping build a community around open-source genomic analysis pipelines, reference data, and analytical processing resources.”

Data from the VGP will be presented at the International Plant & Animal Genome conference taking place January 13-17, 2018 in San Diego, California. The VPG will openly release analytic tools on DNAnexus and GitHub.

For more information on the VGP, please visit

About the Vertebrates Genomes Project

The Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) is an international and multidisciplinary project led by the Genome 10K consortium, with affiliations from the Bird 10K, Bat 1K, and other consortiums, and partners from over 50 institutions across nearly all continents. These include the NCBI, Ensembl, and UCSC public databases of genomes. The VGP aims to create a digital open-access genome library cataloging at least one high-quality, near gapless, annotated chromosomal-level assembly of the approximately 66,000 vertebrate species. This library will be used to identify species most genetically at risk for extinction, to preserve genetic information, and to transform biology through conservation strategies as a model to preserve all life, and contribute to human and the planet’s health. Samples are selected between collaborators, and most will be sequenced at central hubs, including the Vertebrate Genome Lab at the Rockefeller University (led by Dr. Olivier Fedrigo), the Sanger Institute (Dr. Richard Durbin), and the Max Planck Institute in Dresden (Gene Myers). A variety of sequencing and assembling technologies are currently trialed (chaired by Adam Phillippy of NIH). Amongst them are Pacific Biosciences SMRT long-read technology, 10X Genomics Chromium, Illumina short-reads, Arima Genomics and Dovetail scaffolding algorithm, and BioNano optical mapping.

About DNAnexus

DNAnexus combines expertise in computing and bioinformatics creating the global network for genomics, operating in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (including China), South America, and Africa. The secure, scalable, and collaborative DNAnexus Platform helps thousands of researchers and clinicians across a spectrum of industries – biopharmaceutical, bioagricultural, sequencing services, clinical diagnostics, government, and research consortia – accelerate global genomics programs. For more information on DNAnexus, please visit or follow the company @DNAnexus.


for DNAnexus
Colin Sanford, 415-946-1094

Release Summary

DNAnexus to Support Reference Assemblies of all Vertebrate Species


for DNAnexus
Colin Sanford, 415-946-1094