Our knowledge of cat family biology was recently expanded to include a genomics perspective with the completion of a draft whole genome sequence of an Abyssinian cat. The utility of the new genome information has been demonstrated by applications ranging from disease gene discovery and comparative genomics to species conservation. Patterns of genomic organization among cats and inbred domestic cat breeds have illuminated our view of domestication, revealing linkage disequilibrium tracks consequent of breed formation, defining chromosome exchanges that punctuated major lineages of mammals and suggesting ancestral continental migration events that led to 37 modern species of Felidae. We review these recent advances here. As the genome resources develop, the cat is poised to make a major contribution to many areas in genetics and biology.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephen-obrien/574/