Axeq Technologies and the University of Puerto Rico, Collaborate with the National Cancer Institute to Produce the First D

ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Axeq Technologies announced the completion of a draft sequence of the Puerto Rican parrot genome (Amazona vittata) in collaboration with investigators from multiple institutions including the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and the National Cancer Institute. The project marks a milestone in the understanding of the genome of this critically endangered bird. This is also the first parrot of the large genus Amazona to be sequenced. The sequencing data represents about 42.5 billion nucleotide bases, which is equivalent to an average coverage of 26.89X. The funding of the project is made possible through an international collaboration supported by the donations from the people of Puerto Rico.

Axeq is honored to be a partner in this effort by formulating the sequencing strategy, and performing the DNA sequencing and data assembly work. Through the adoption of a combined paired-end and mate pair sequencing method, Axeq completed the sequencing process, and generated initial assembly data in a relatively short time, allowing other collaborative researchers to quickly compare different assembly results. This collaborative approach enables the rapid completion of the draft sequence. This successful event highlights the fact that Axeq Technologies is a capable contributor in the field of de novo sequencing of plant and animal genomes.

“We are delighted to take part in this pivotal event by supporting the sequencing efforts of this endangered parrot from Puerto Rico. We look forward to continuing our collaborations with scientists to further our understanding of the genetics of these beautiful birds,” said Daniel Siu, Executive Vice President of Axeq. “This event also marks the extension of our sequencing and analytical capabilities into the field of de novo sequencing of plant and animal genomes using a variety of next-generation sequencing platforms.”

“Our goal is to create the reference genome of the parrot so we can study the genetic diversity that remains in the species. This can provide crucial information for designing recovery efforts. We will also continue the sequencing of other parrots from the genus Amazona occupying different Caribbean islands and to study the differences between them. All the genome information is now publicly available at As the genome sequences from different species accumulate, together with my friend and colleague, Dr. Martinez-Cruzado, we aim to use the parrot genomes as a model for studying genome evolution on these islands. After all, our parrots provide a model very similar to Darwin’s finches,” said Dr. Taras K. Oleksyk, Assistant Professor of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

For information about Axeq Technologies, please contact Daniel Siu, executive vice president, at [email protected].

For information about the parrot sequencing project, please contact Taras K. Oleksyk, assistant professor, biology department, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, at [email protected] (Phone number: 1-787-832-4040 ext: 3953).


Axeq Technologies
Daniel Siu, 1-855-864-2937 (Toll free)
Executive Vice President
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Caribbean  Puerto Rico  Maryland

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Genetics  Research  Veterinary  Science