The Genomics for Aotearoa New Zealand platform has been successfully tested on the Catalyst Cloud to support two separate genomics research projects – one to understand the genetic diversity in brown kiwi and the other to understand the genetic basis of flightlessness in birds.
Genomics work is vital to conserve brown kiwi, whose populations the Department of Conservation estimate are declining by 2 - 3% each year. The hapū -led Kiwi Whakapapa Project is working towards providing a more detailed understanding of genetic diversity in isolated groups of brown kiwi to help hapū and other decision-makers advance the goal of achieving diverse and successful kiwi populations for generations to come.
The bioinformatics platform was used with the population structure analysis software package, StructureThreader, to help understand the relatedness of North Island brown kiwi populations. Massey University Senior Lecturer and co-supervisor of the project, Simon Hills (Ngāti Porou), said “Because the Genomics for Aotearoa New Zealand platform is container based, we can share containers and workflows between users making them reproducible and reusable for future analyses - saving time, energy, and money.”
The genome assembly of flighted and flightless birds took researcher, Gillian Gibb, about 2 days to run on the Catalyst Cloud, compared to 5 days a similar assembly took on an offshore cloud platform. This more efficient processing is due to the improved efficiency of the Catalyst Cloud Kubernetes platform and reduced latency.