A comparative genomics multitool for scientific discovery and conservation

Nature. 2020 Nov;587(7833):240-245. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2876-6. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


The Zoonomia Project is investigating the genomics of shared and specialized traits in eutherian mammals. Here we provide genome assemblies for 131 species, of which all but 9 are previously uncharacterized, and describe a whole-genome alignment of 240 species of considerable phylogenetic diversity, comprising representatives from more than 80% of mammalian families. We find that regions of reduced genetic diversity are more abundant in species at a high risk of extinction, discern signals of evolutionary selection at high resolution and provide insights from individual reference genomes. By prioritizing phylogenetic diversity and making data available quickly and without restriction, the Zoonomia Project aims to support biological discovery, medical research and the conservation of biodiversity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Biomedical Research
  • Conservation of Natural Resources* / methods
  • Eutheria / classification*
  • Eutheria / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Extinction, Biological
  • Genetic Speciation
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infections
  • Knowledge Discovery* / methods
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Neoplasms
  • Phylogeny
  • Risk Assessment
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Species Specificity
  • Venoms


  • Venoms