The establishment of the Koala Genome Consortium in 2013 culminated in the publication of the first fully assembled koala genome. An international initiative involving 29 institutes across the globe, the publication has led to a much greater understanding of koala biology including knowledge on gene families putatively associated with detoxification of eucalypt leaves and the species’ ability to taste and smell plant secondary metabolites. Similarly, the genomic resource has enabled comparative assessments facilitating immunogenomics, population genomic analysis, and, for the first time, genome-wide assessments of the koala retrovirus (KoRV). This summary outlines how the koala genome has increased our capacity to understand the genetics of KoRV—from a deeper understanding of KoRV viral subtypes and their recombinants to preferences for viral integration across the host genome.
Alquezar-Planas, David E. 2023. The koala retrovirus: lessons learned from the koala genome. In Proceedings of the Second Koala Retrovirus Workshop, ed. D. E. Alquezar-Planas, D. P. Higgins, C. L. Singleton, and A. D. Greenwood. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum Online 38: 19–21.