Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NHGRI Adds Cow and Dog To High Priority List For Sequencing Model Organisms

13.09.2002


The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research has recommended adding the cow, the dog and the ciliate Oxytricha to the high-priority list of model organisms that should be considered for genome sequencing as capacity becomes available. Cow and dog join a growing group of high priority animals that includes chimpanzee, chicken and honeybee. Sequencing projects on the human, mouse and rat genomes are progressing rapidly, making sequencing capability supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) available soon for work on other organisms.



“The priority list is based on medical and biological opportunities,” said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “But it is not yet a commitment to sequence the genomes of these organisms.”

Sequencing the cow, along with the honeybee and the chicken, is expected to speed up studies of these agriculturally important animals. The proposal to sequence the cow was submitted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University.


“I am delighted that NIH has decided to give high priority to sequencing the bovine genome,” said Joseph Jen, Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Sequencing the bovine genes will help in the development of meat and dairy products that consumers want while maintaining and increasing the safety of our food supply. USDA looks forward to participating in the research.”

The proposal to sequence the dog was submitted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research, Cambridge, Mass., and the Canine Genome Mapping Community, including researchers from a wide range of universities and institutions. The dog genome is expected to have medical benefits since dogs suffer many of the same diseases as humans. The dog is also an important model for the genetics of behavior and is used extensively in pharmaceutical research.

In addition to dog and cow, council upgraded the priority of Oxytricha trifallax, a ciliated protozoan that has been used in scientific studies for more than a century, from moderate to high priority. The proposal to sequence the free-living, single-celled organism came from a team of researchers at the University of Utah, Princeton University and the Utah Genome Center at the University of Utah. The unique organism has a macronucleus containing a large number of chromosomes that appear to carry only one gene, or a small number of genes, and, presumably, its regulatory regions of DNA.

Finally, council agreed with GRASPP to assigned moderate priority to Trichoplax, a primitive single-celled organism with a relatively small genome of 50 megabases or less. Researchers at Yale University, Oxford University and Baylor College of Medicine had proposed the organism.

NHGRI created a priority-setting process in 2001 to make rational decisions about the many requests being brought forward by various communities of scientists, each championing the animals used in its own research. Having the genome sequence of a model organism helps profoundly in the study of the biology of that animal. Comparisons with other genomes also help interpret the human reference sequence.

The institute uses the priority list to determine which genomes will enter the sequencing pipeline at the three large-scale sequencing facilities NHGRI currently supports. The priority-setting process does not result in new grants for sequencing the organisms. The three funded centers are: The Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research in Cambridge, Mass.; the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.; and the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex.

To nominate an organism, NHGRI asks scientists to write a white paper that justifies the substantial investment of acquiring an animal’s genome sequence. White papers can be submitted three times a year, with deadlines on February 10, June 10 and October 10.

The white papers are reviewed by the Genome Resources and Sequencing Priority Panel (GRASPP), a blue-ribbon group NHGRI established to help set priorities. Evaluation criteria include an assessment of the medical importance of the proposed project; its importance to basic biological and evolutionary studies; the size of the research community interested in the DNA sequence; and the availability of additional research tools that would allow investigators to take maximal advantage of the new genomic sequence data.

“The priority is always subject to re-evaluation and is not a permanent designation or a commitment to begin sequencing,” said William M. Gelbart, Ph.D., from Harvard University, a member of institute’s advisory council and chairman of the GRASPP. “Our charge is to triage the many requests the NHGRI receives.”

The panel recommends a ranking of high, moderate or low priority, and does not provide more fine-grained rankings within each category. NHGRI’s advisory council agrees or disagrees with the ranking.

But even achieving high priority does not mean a center will automatically begin sequencing the organism. Capacity must first become available, and then NHGRI staff, assisted by its Sequencing Advisory Panel and sequencing center staff, must agree on the resources to expend on each organism.

Following these steps, the Washington University genome center was recently granted permission to begin work on the chicken genome; The Whitehead Institute/MIT center will begin work on several species of fungi of biomedical importance; and the Washington University and Whitehead centers will together begin work on the chimpanzee, in collaboration with colleagues in Germany and Asia. Baylor will begin work soon on the honeybee and the sea urchin genomes. Baylor also will devote capacity to sequencing the Drosophila pseudoobscura genome approved through another process.

The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research is a federally chartered committee that establishes program priorities and goals for the institute and also provides second-level review of grant applications for NHGRI’s extramural program. It meets three times a year, in February, May and September. Background on the advisory council can be found at http://www.genome.gov/page.cfm?pageID=10000905.

The white papers proposing each model organism can be found at NHGRI’s sequencing model organisms web page at http://www.genome.gov/page.cfm?pageID=10001691. For information on the other organisms added to the sequencing list, see http://www.genome.gov/Pages/Research/Sequencing/Proposals/.

Contact::
Geoff Spencer
NHGRI
Phone: (301) 402-0911

Geoff Spencer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>