Genome report: chromosome-level draft assemblies of the snow leopard, African leopard, and tiger (Panthera uncia, Panthera pardus pardus, and Panthera tigris)

G3 (Bethesda). 2022 Dec 1;12(12):jkac277. doi: 10.1093/g3journal/jkac277.


The big cats (genus Panthera) represent some of the most popular and charismatic species on the planet. Although some reference genomes are available for this clade, few are at the chromosome level, inhibiting high-resolution genomic studies. We assembled genomes from 3 members of the genus, the tiger (Panthera tigris), the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and the African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus), at chromosome or near-chromosome level. We used a combination of short- and long-read technologies, as well as proximity ligation data from Hi-C technology, to achieve high continuity and contiguity for each individual. We hope that these genomes will aid in further evolutionary and conservation research of this iconic group of mammals.

Keywords: Panthera pardus pardus; Panthera tigris; Panthera uncia; big cats; genome assembly.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Genome
  • Panthera* / genetics
  • Tigers* / genetics