Cited research: Genome Res. doi:10.1101/gr.103499.109 (2010)
Using rapid DNA sequencing methods, Timothy Aitman of Imperial College London and his colleagues have sequenced the genome of a rat strain widely used to study high blood pressure. They compared the spontaneously hypertensive rat's genome with the first rat genome to be sequenced, in 2004, and found that the two strains are about as different from one another as any two humans that have been sequenced so far. By contrast, mouse strains sequenced to date have much more variable genomes.
The team found 788 genes in the hypertensive rat that seem to be mutated enough to disrupt the function of the proteins that they encode. Many of these encode ion-channel proteins, such as those that regulate calcium and potassium, and may have a role in regulating blood pressure.