Pig Genome Update No. 38

September 1, 1999

 1. The 11th Colloquium on Animal Cytogenetics and Gene Mapping was Held
 2. Meeting on Large Animal Transgenics and Cloning was Recently Held
 3. A Special Thanks and Good Wishes Go To Dr. Zhiliang Hu
 4. NRSP-8 Administrative Advisor Dr. Gary Moberg Passed Away
 5. A RPCI-44 Male Porcine BAC Library Has Been Constructed
 6. A Reminder: Set VIII Fluorescent Primers Ready for Distribution
 7. The RH Panel for Swine is Available
 8. Animal Gene Mapping Community Directory Continues to Grow
 9. Plans Already Underway for PAG-VIII
10. Upcoming Meetings (4 Items)

The 11th North American Colloquium on Domestic Animal Cytogenetics and Gene Mapping took place at the University of Minnesota on June 14-18. The colloquium was dedicated to honor Dr. Robert Shoffner, an eminent avian cytogeneticist and emeritus professor of the department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota. The Colloquium was attended by about 80 researchers and students from 20 different countries. About 48 abstracts were submitted and about 2/3 of them were presented as posters and the rest as oral presentations. Ten plenary lectures covering from comparative mapping of animal and plants to mammalian cell reprograming were presented during the four day meeting. The colloquium also included concurrent selected oral presentation sessions and two workshops, the DogMap and the Bovine Chromosome Standardization workshops. The Food and Animal Biotechnology Center at the University of Minnesota organized a mini symposium on comparative genomics during the last day of the Colloquium. The organizers are indebted to the USDA-NRI, the Bovine, Sheep, Swine, Poultry and Horse Species Genome Coordinators. Support from the University of Minnesota included the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Food and Animal Biotechnology Center, the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science and the Department of Animal Science (kindly provided by Abel Ponce de Leon).

A recent meeting on large animal transgenics and cloning was recently held in Tahoe City, CA (August 15-19, 1999). The Transgenic Animal Conference was hosted by the University of California-Davis and Dr. Jim Murray chaired the meeting which was attended by 150 people. The Scientific Program (http://www.biotech.ucdavis.edu/transgenic/transgenic.htm ) which consisted of 23 talks and 30 posters was excellent. It covered current work in the field concerning isolation of embryonic stem cells in pigs and chickens and nuclear transfer experiments in a number of species including cattle and sheep. Also, a series of talks reported successful transgenesis in pigs, goats, sheep, fish and chickens. A highlight was the announcement by PPL Therapeutics that they have successfully performed gene targeting in sheep cells and have live sheep derived from these targeted cells. The targeted locus was not revealed. In addition, several groups discussed the analysis of differences in gene expression in cultured embryos when compared to in vivo material and the biological changes occurring from culturing such early embryos for cloning and nuclear transfer. Such changes are thought to cause Large Offspring Syndrome, an undesired phenotype observed in the cloning process. Specific transgenic methods and their successes or failures were also discussed, including antisense technology, retroviral vectors and recA-enhanced homologous recombination. Advances in the genetic modification of pigs to serve as xenotransplantation donors were reported, as was the successful use of goats and sheep as bioreactors for human pharmaceuticals. Other uses of transgenic animals to produce novel materials such as spider silk proteins were also announced. Successful modification of sheep and pigs for breed improvement was reported, as was the behavior of transgenes in selection experiments. Dr. Ian Wilmut gave an excellent wrap-up entitled "What does hindsight teach us about the future". He suggested that while much has been accomplished, the scientific community should be careful not to be too overly optimistic about new accomplishments and especially application of technology in the near future. He further indicated that engagement of scientists in the public debate about cloning and genetic modification is critically important. Jim Murray announced that the conference Proceedings will be published in a forthcoming issue of Transgenic Animal Research, and that at least three additional transgenic animal conferences will be hosted by UC-Davis at two years intervals (kindly provided by Chris Tuggle)

A special thanks and good wishes go to Dr. Zhiliang Hu. Zhiliang as most of you know has been an incredible asset to me as the Pig Genome Coordinator. He has served mostly behind the scenes the past two years to redesign the web pages, to curate the database, set up the mirror site, to help with analyses and to send primers to all of you. Like all great people it was a matter of time until someone else discovered him. He will begin work for Curagen, a molecular biology company in Connecticut. I am currently interviewing possible candidates to fill his position. In the meantime please bear with me if things don't go as smoothly. He will certainly be missed.

Sad News. It has been recently learned that NRSP-8 administrative advisor Dr. Gary Moberg died August 13, 1999 of an apparent heart attack. Dr. Moberg had been on the faculty in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis since 1970 and was considered one of the world's top scientists working on the biology of animal stress. In recent years he also served as Associate Dean for the Division of Animal Biology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Condolences can be sent to his wife, Sydney, at 2654 Emerald Bay Drive, Davis, CA 95616. A scholarship fund has been established in Gary's name. Donations may be sent to: Department of Animal Science, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8571, Attention: Carole Burnside.

More new tools! A RPCI-44 Male Porcine BAC Library has been constructed by the BACPAC Resource Center in the Department of Cancer Genetics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, USA. Library construction was supported by a contract from the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE. Blood from four male pigs (breed: 37.5% Yorkshire, 37.5% Landrace, and 25% Meishan) was pooled and genomic DNA was isolated from the white blood cells. The DNA (partially EcoRI digested) was size selected and cloned into the EcoRI sites of the pTARBAC2 vector. The average insert size is 165 kb and there is 10X coverage of the porcine genome. The library has been arrayed into 384-well microtiter plates and also gridded onto 22x22cm high-density nylon hybridization filters for screening by probe hybridization. Each hybridization membrane represents over 18,000 distinct porcine BAC clones, stamped in duplicate. As part of the Pig Genome Coordination effort, up to $650 will be supplied to US laboratories interested in obtaining the filter sets. This will pay for approximately 50% of the filters. Prior to taking advantage of this offer, please contact me at mfrothsc@iastate.edu to confirm availability of funds.

If you haven't heard additional fluorescent primers are ready to distribute. A set of 73 pairs of fluorescent primers (Set VIII; April 1999) are available for distribution. This brings the total number of fluorescent primer pairs distributed by the U.S. Pig Genome Coordinator to 377 pairs. Primer information is at: http://www.genome.iastate.edu/resources/fprimerintr.html . To order Set VIII fluorescent primers, please send your request, along with your detailed postal address and your daytime phone number (required), to mfrothsc@iastate.edu. Please continue to make use of them and also be sure to acknowledge their source as it helps to improve cooperation and coordination activities.

The RH panel for swine is available. Developed at INRA in Toulouse and tested extensively by the University of Minnesota the panel is now ready for distribution. To obtain aliquots, please contact Larry Schook at schoo009@maroon.tc.umn.edu. Considerable funding will be provided by the US Pig Genome Coordinator to help support this distribution activity. Another RH panel is also available now through Research Genetics at: http://www.resgen.com .

We have developed an "Animal Gene Mapping Community Directory" database. This "Directory" will contain a name list of scientists/ researchers in the research areas including but not limited to animal gene mapping, molecular biology, genome analysis and related fields. The "Directory" will serve the community as a people/address finder and as a guide to the current studies in the community. Since its beginning over 170 people have added their information to the directory, please go to http://www.genome.iastate.edu/community/join.html to add your own information. The database information is accessible to the ANGENMAP subscribers only.

Plans already underway for PAG-VIII. Under the leadership of Steve Heller, planning for PAG-VIII was underway even before we left San Diego. A draft schedule is nearly complete (http://www.intl-pag.org/pag/pag8work.html ). Please note that we're starting about a week earlier next year. Plant genomics and animal genomics sessions will run concurrently after an initial plenary talk to open the day on both Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, next year's meeting will provide more time for dinner in between the afternoon and evening workshops, and all of Tuesday night will be free to heed the call of San Diego's (or Tijuana's) evening attractions. Finally, PAG-VIII will end with a banquet on Wednesday evening and there will be no Thursday morning sessions. However, for those interested, PAG-VIII will be followed directly by the first Ag Microbial Genome meeting. Speakers for morning talks at PAG-VIII are being chosen and contacted. Thanks to all who have already provided suggestions and comments (kindly provided by Jerry Dodgson).

Upcoming meetings:

The Microarray Meeting, Sept. 22-25, 1999, Phoenix, Arizona. Hosted by Nature Genetics. For updated details see http://genetics.nature.com .

Cold Spring Harbor Fall Courses: Genome Informatics; Positional Cloning: Contig to Candidate Gene; Computational Genomics, application deadline, July 15, 1999. Contact: http://www.cshl.org/meetings .

Plant and Animal Genome VIII, joint with the NAGRP annual meetings, Jan. 8-13, 2000, Town & Country Convention Center, San Diego, CA. See: http://www.intl-pag.org . Followed immediately by Ag Microbial Genome I, Jan. 13-14, same location. See http://www.ag-microbial.org/agm .

International Society of Animal Genetics: Minneapolis, MN, USA will be held July 24-27, 2000. Contact Brian Kirkpatrick at bwkirkpat@facstaff.wisc.edu.

Contributions to Pig Genome Update 31, including short meeting announcements, are always welcome. Please send by October 10.

                    Max Rothschild
                    U.S. Pig Genome Coordinator
                    2255 Kildee Hall, Department of Animal Science
                    Iowa State University
                    Ames, Iowa 50011
                    Phone: 515-294-6202, Fax: 515-294-2401

cc: Dick Frahm, CSREES and Roger Gerrits, ARS
Paid for by funds from the NRSP-8
USDA/CSREES sponsored
Pig Genome Coordination Program
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