The Bowhead Whale Genome Resource

Providing databases and tools for the study of Balaena mysticetus.

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) has not only been estimated to live over 200 years, making it the longest-lived mammal, but these animals remain disease-free until much more advanced ages than humans can.

Searching the genome

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You can search using either a gene name, Ensembl identifier (from Bottlenosed dolphin, Cow, Human, Minke Whale, Mouse) or Bowhead Whale sequence ID.

For more detailed queries you can use boolean (AND, OR, NOT), wildcard (*) and range searches ([1 TO 2]). You can also search for specific terms by grouping them in quotes e.g. "growth hormone". Certain fields are also available for more detailed filtering: ka_ks_ratio, cdna_percentage and protein_percentage. These can be used by following the structure of the next example: ka_ks_ratio:[0.75 TO 0.8] or protein_percentage:98. When using filters wildcards are required to get partial matches.

BLAST search

For searching a sequence you can use our BLAST server to align a given sequence to the latest available build of the bowhead whale genome.

Go to BLAST search page »

The mechanisms for the longevity and resistance to aging-related diseases of bowhead whales are unknown, but it is clear these animals must possess aging prevention mechanisms. In particular in context of cancer, bowhead whales must have anti-tumour mechanisms, because given their large size and longevity, their cells must have a massively lower chance of developing into cancer when compared to human cells. As such, we sequenced the genome of the bowhead whale to identify longevity assurance mechanisms.

A high-coverage genome assembly, and corresponding annotation, of the bowhead whale is made available to the scientific community to encourage research using data from this exceptionally long-lived species. Overall, this project aims to provide a key resource for studying the bowhead whale and its exceptional longevity and resistance to diseases. By identifying novel maintenance and repair mechanisms we will learn what is the secret for living longer, healthier lives and may be able apply this knowledge to improve human health and preserve human life.

Database Statistics (v1.0)

Entry type Number of entries
Scaffold 7227
Coding sequence 22677
Protein 22672
miRNA 546

Funding provided by: