The genome of the Western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis.
The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes more than 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1700 human disease genes. Over 1 million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like that of other tetrapods, the genome of X. tropicalis contains gene deserts enriched for conserved noncoding elements. The genome exhibits substantial shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage.