LaGomiCs - Lagomorph Genomics Consortium: An International Collaborative Effort for Sequencing the Genomes of an Entire Mammalian Order


Luca Fontanesi, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
Federica Di Palma, Earlham Institute
Paul Flicek, European Bioinformatics Institute
Andrew T. Smith, School of Life Sciences
Carl Gustaf Thulin, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Paulo C. Alves, CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
Joana Abrantes, CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
Leif Andersson, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Chiara Angelone, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Rudy Boonstra, University of Toronto
Rita Campos, CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
Miguel Carneiro, CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
Rita Casadio, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
Fernando A. Cervantes, Instituto de Biología de la UNAM
Nishma Dahal, National Centre for Biological Sciences
Mihajla Djan, University of Novi Sad
Pedro José Esteves, CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
Graham Etherington, Earlham Institute
Jianglin Fan, University of Yamanashi
Joerns Fickel, Universität Potsdam
Deyan Ge, Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences
Thomas Husband, University of Rhode Island
Timothy King, USGS Leetown Science Center
Adrienne I. Kovach, University of New Hampshire Durham
Antonio Lavazza, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna Bruno Ubertini
Jérome Letty, Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage
Andrey A. Lissovsky, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Rose Mage, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Zissis Mamuris, University of Thessaly
Pier Luigi Martelli, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
Thomas McGreevy, USGS Leetown Science Center

Document Type


Date of Original Version



The order Lagomorpha comprises about 90 living species, divided in 2 families: the pikas (Family Ochotonidae), and the rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits (Family Leporidae). Lagomorphs are important economically and scientifically as major human food resources, valued game species, pests of agricultural significance, model laboratory animals, and key elements in food webs. A quarter of the lagomorph species are listed as threatened. They are native to all continents except Antarctica, and occur up to 5000 m above sea level, from the equator to the Arctic, spanning a wide range of environmental conditions. The order has notable taxonomic problems presenting significant difficulties for defining a species due to broad phenotypic variation, overlap of morphological characteristics, and relatively recent speciation events. At present, only the genomes of 2 species, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and American pika (Ochotona princeps) have been sequenced and assembled. Starting from a paucity of genome information, the main scientific aim of the Lagomorph Genomics Consortium (LaGomiCs), born from a cooperative initiative of the European COST Action "A Collaborative European Network on Rabbit Genome Biology - RGBNet" and the World Lagomorph Society (WLS), is to provide an international framework for the sequencing of the genome of all extant and selected extinct lagomorphs. Sequencing the genomes of an entire order will provide a large amount of information to address biological problems not only related to lagomorphs but also to all mammals. We present current and planned sequencing programs and outline the final objective of LaGomiCs possible through broad international collaboration.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Heredity