Team sequences complete genome of Scarlet macaw

Texas A&M researchers have been studying Scarlet macaws for many years. Photo: Tambopata Research Center

Texas A&M researchers have been studying Scarlet macaws for many years. Photo: Tambopata Research Center

In a groundbreaking move that provides new insight into avian evolution, biology and conservation, researchers at Texas A&M University have successfully sequenced the complete genome of a Scarlet macaw for the first time.

The team was led by Drs. Christopher Seabury and Ian Tizard at the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M. Their work is published in the current issue of the open access and peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS ONE.

The bird selected for the sequencing was a female named “Neblina” who lives in the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. Neblina is believed to be from Brazil. She was confiscated during a raid on illegally imported exotic birds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1995.

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