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Arima Genomics and European Reference Genome Atlas Join Forces to Preserve Biodiversity

Collaboration will assemble nearly 200,000 genomes from European plants and animals.


SAN DIEGO, Calif., Sep 30, 2021 --  Arima Genomics is proud to be partnering with the European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) initiative to help produce high-quality reference genomes for thousands of plant and animal species. Arima is providing kits and reagents to support chromatin conformation capture (Hi-C), as part of the larger endeavor to accurately assemble nearly 200,000 genomes.

ERGA was founded to build an inclusive community of pan-European biodiversity experts to equitably respond to the ongoing European biodiversity threats. By creating reference genomes, the initiative wants to better understand each species’ unique genetic fingerprint and how those variations contribute to biodiversity. Around 40,000 European species are currently at risk for extinction, lending tremendous urgency to the project. 

“European biodiversity is in dire need of long-term conservation initiatives,” said Claudio Ciofi, the ERGA Vice Chair. “The European Reference Genome Atlas is pivotal to establish background genomic data and understand how organisms adapt and may survive to ongoing, human-driven environmental changes.”

One of the key aspects of this project is to use Arima Genomics Hi-C technology to build chromosome-scale scaffolds to improve the contiguity, quality, and phasing of the assemblies. This approach provides more comprehensive information than genomic sequencing alone. 

“We are proud to be applying our Hi-C technology to this critically important project,” said Anthony Schmitt, PhD, Arima’s Senior Vice President of Science. “Accurate reference genomes are the raw materials scientists need to advance knowledge of the evolutionary make-up and adaptive potential of critical European species in order to conserve them.”
 
This partnership is only the latest in several emerging collaborations for Arima Genomics. In April 2021, the company partnered with SCRUM, Inc., to distribute their genomic tools in Japan. Arima has also been working with the Vertebrate Genomes Project, which is sequencing more than 10,000 species. Earlier in the year, Arima joined with Active Motif, Inc., to launch end-to-end Hi-C services. And in October 2020, the Wellcome Sanger Institute selected Arima as its Hi-C technology partner. 

Learn more about Genome Assembly.