Koala Genome Framework Data Initiative 

Access to the koala genome offers considerable research benefits. For the first time scientists working on koala biology have access to their full genetic map of around 20,000 genes (Koala Genome Consortium). So far the data has uncovered many unique koala genes such as those related to their remarkable ability to survive on a specialised diet as well as the surprising finding that some koala genes are associated with human diseases such as bowel and breast cancer.

Most koalas living on mainland Australia (95%) are infected with koala retrovirus, which is thought to be involved in causing Koala Immune Deficiency Syndrome (KIDS), an AIDS-like syndrome that causes infected koalas to become more susceptible to infectious disease and cancer. The koala dataset genome mapping project was set up to uncover how and why koalas respond to infectious diseases. Koala retrovirus and chlamydia are decimating koala populations in NSW and Queensland and the sequencing data is providing critical information on koala immunity and vaccine development for these diseases in particular.

This Bioplatforms Australia Framework Data Initiative is led by Dr Rebecca Johnson from the Australian Museum Research Institute in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of New South Wales.

This project is part of a co-funding arrangement with the Australian Museum Foundation, Queensland University of Technology, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the ARC Linkage Scheme. To access the genomic and transcriptomic data sequenced by the Koala Genome Consortium please visit their website: http://koalagenome.org/

For further information contact:

Rebecca Johnson | T: 02 9320 6297| rebecca.johnson@austmus.gov.au
Andrew Gilbert | T: 02 9850 8281 | agilbert@bioplatforms.com

Koala Genome Media Articles and Publications

Preliminary Koala Genome Results Presented at PAG
Genome Web January 2015
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A transcriptome resource for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): insights into koala retrovirus transcription and sequence diversity
BMC Genomics October 2014
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Koala transcriptome revealed
Australian Life Scientist
October 2014
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Radio: ABC Coffs Coast Morning Show
16 April 2013

ABC News 24 (Sydney)
15 April 2013
Video

Brisbane Courier Mail
15 April 2013
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Port Macquarie News
13 April 2013
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Radio: 2LM (Lismore) 06:30 News
11 April 2013

Radio: Triple Z (Lismore) 07:00 News
11 April 2013

Radio: 2LM (Lismore) 07:30 News
11 April 2013

Courier Mail
11 April 2013
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Sunraysia Daily
10 April 2013
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Radio: 666 ABC Canberra
10 April 2013

Radio: ABC North Coast NSW
10 April 2013

Radio: ABC North Coast NSW News
10 April 2013

Radio: ABC News 24 (Sydney)
10 April 2013

The Age
10 April 2013
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Sydney Morning Herald
10 April 2013
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Newcastle Herald
10 April 2013
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Canberra Times
10 April 2013
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Ballarat Courier
10 April 2013
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Wagga Daily Advertiser
10 April 2013
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Illawarra Mercury
10 April 2013
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Brisbane Times
10 April 2013
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Melbourne Age
10 April 2013
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The Bellingen Shire Courier-Sun
10 April 2013
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Radio: ABC Broken Hill News
09 April 2013

Radio: 774 ABC Melbourne News
09 April 2013

Radio: ABC North Queensland
09 April 2013

Radio: 612 ABC Brisbane
09 April 2013

Radio National (Canberra)
09 April 2013

AAP Newswire
09 April 2013
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Brisbane Courier-Mail
09 April 2013
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The Australian
09 April 2013
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All Voices
09 April 2013

Herald Sun
09 April 2013
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Channel 10 – Ten News at 5pm
09 April 2013

SBS
09 April 2013

ABC Online
09 April 2013
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The Conversation
09 April 2013
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ABC Online
09 April 2013
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Brisbane Times
09 April 2013
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WA Today
09 April 2013
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Koala Genome Press Release
Australian Museum
April 2013
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