The ruminants form one of the most ecologically important herbivorous animal groups on Earth, with two major families, the bovids (Bovidae) and the deer (Cervidae). Furthermore, the ruminants include five of the most important livestock species: the cow, water buffalo, yak, sheep and goats, which have played prominent roles in human civilization. Despite their prominence in natural and human-controlled ecosystems, the evolutionary genomics of ruminants is not fully resolved, and inconsistencies remain even at the family level. In an international consortium including Danish and Chinese research groups, we are de novo assembling 47 ruminant genomes, covering all of the six families and almost half of the 82 extant genera of ruminant suborder. With this big data set we plan to bring our knowledge about the evolutionary genomics in this important animal group to a whole new level. We will look at a number of specific ecological and physiological adaptations, such as the evolutionary innovation of the rumen and the headgear, the ruminantia population dynamics correlated to the climate change in past millions of years. Combined with comparative genomics and ENCODE genomic features, the ruminant specific conventional regions would be also revealed and used for the cattle/sheep/goat functional genome annotation.

Topics and Publications

  • Reconstruct phylogenic tree of Ruminantia
  • PSMC Analysis
  • Rumen evolution
  • Headgear origination and evolution
  • Sex chromosome evolution and chromosome fusion


  • Wen Wang, Qiang Qiu, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
  • Yu Jiang, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.
  • Guojie Zhang 1,2, Rasmus Heller 1, Hans Redlef Siegismund 1, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark1, Beijing Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Shenzheng, Guangdong, China2.

Data Reuse

  • Please observe Ruminant Genome Project policy on data reuse.