Dong, Y. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 31, 135–141 (2013).

The domestic goat may not evoke luxury, but its fine underhair is what is spun to make the prized fibers of cashmere wool. Dong et al. now boost the animal's status by endowing it with a sequenced genome. The lack of a reference sequence made it challenging to piece together short reads from the DNA of a Yunnan she-goat. Optical mapping can generate scaffolds that connect shorter stretches of overlapping sequence, but this process is laborious and limited to small genomes. Dong et al. automated the process by constructing a chip-like channel formation device used to physically stretch, cut and image DNA, generating 100,000 single-molecule restriction maps that were then combined with partially assembled sequence reads. The device enables optical mapping for the assembly of large genomes.