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Genome Reference Assembly for Bottlenecked Southern Australian Koalas

Blanchard, Adam Mark; Emes, Richard David; Greenwood, Alex David; Holmes, Nadine; Loose, Matthew William; McEwen, Gail Katherine; Meers, Joanne; Speight, Natasha; Tarlinton, Rachael Eugenie

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Richard David Emes

Alex David Greenwood

Nadine Holmes

Professor of Developmental and Computational Biology

Gail Katherine McEwen

Joanne Meers

Natasha Speight


Bonnie Fraser


Koala populations show marked differences in inbreeding levels and in the presence or absence of the endogenous Koala retrovirus (KoRV). These genetic differences among populations may lead to severe disease impacts threatening koala population viability. In addition, the recent colonization of the koala genome by KoRV provides a unique opportunity to study the process of retroviral adaptation to vertebrate genomes and the impact this has on speciation, genome structure, and function. The genome build described here is from an animal from the bottlenecked Southern population free of endogenous and exogenous KoRV. It provides a more contiguous genome build than the previous koala reference derived from an animal from a more outbred Northern population and is the first koala genome from a KoRV polymerase-free animal.


Blanchard, A. M., Emes, R. D., Greenwood, A. D., Holmes, N., Loose, M. W., McEwen, G. K., …Tarlinton, R. E. (2023). Genome Reference Assembly for Bottlenecked Southern Australian Koalas. Genome Biology and Evolution, 15(1), Article evac176.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 13, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 21, 2022
Publication Date Jan 4, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 5, 2023
Journal Genome biology and evolution
Electronic ISSN 1759-6653
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Article Number evac176
Keywords Genetics; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Public URL
Publisher URL


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