Baboons are an important biomedical model for many complex traits, including athlerosclerosis, bone density and obesity. With short generation times and an ability to control the environment, baboons provide a natural complement to human genetic studies of complex traits. However, high-resolution genetic studies in baboons are hampered by a lack of genomic resources. We will address this gap by improving the quality of the baboon genome assembly, providing comprehensive maps of common polymorphisms and haplotypes across the baboon genome, and constructing a high-resolution genetic map for baboons. Together, these resources will enable future fine-scale genotype-phenotype studies in baboons, which in turn may lead to important biomedical advances in understanding the genetic basis of human disease.
Large-scale studies that seek to uncover the genetic basis of complex traits, such as disease susceptibility, require the availability of genomic resources such as high-quality physical and genetic maps and population- level information on common polymorphisms and haplotypes. Our focus on baboons is motivated by their wide use as an animal model for many complex trais, and the potential for discoveries in the baboon to help elucidate fundamental aspects of human biology and disease susceptibility.