Genome Atlas supporting conservation

A project led by The University of Western Australia to help safeguard Western Australian plants and animals currently under threat has received more than $1.5 million in seed funding from Lotterywest.

WA Genome Atlas, part of the global DNA Zoo initiative, will establish Australia’s first-of-its-kind disciplinary hub of excellence to genetically characterise, record and support the State’s unique biodiversity.

This open-source data will fill a critical gap in genetic knowledge required for ecosystem and species conservation.

The program’s founder and chairperson, Associate Professor Parwinder Kaur, from UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment, said the donation was an extraordinary contribution.

“This funding will allow us to create a genetic reference dataset for up to 100 WA species with the priority given to those most at risk of becoming extinct,” she said.

To mark the occasion, WA Genome Atlas is releasing the world’s first full 3D DNA maps for three marsupials dubbed ‘The Three Muskaroos’ – the Western brush wallaby, Swamp wallaby and Matschie’s tree-kangaroo.