Pig Genome Update No. 39

November 1, 1999

 1. Workshop on Plant and Animal Bioinformatics Met in Washington
 2. Stakeholder Meeting on Agricultural Genomics Held in Washington, DC
 3. International Symposium on Animal Breeding and Genetics Held at
      The Universidade Federal de Vicosa
 4. Competitive Grant Program Updated
 5. A RPCI-44 Male Porcine BAC Library Has Been Constructed
 6. Reminder: Set VIII Fluorescent Primers for Distribution
 7. PAG-VIII and the NAGRP 2000 Meetings Are Coming
 8. Upcoming Meetings (3 Items)

The US-European Community Task Force on Biotechnology sponsored workshop on Plant and Animal Bioinformatics met in Washington on September 13-14. The meeting was developed to review lessons learned and discuss new directions and emerging initiatives. Those participating from the animal side included Drs. Caird Rexroad, John Keele and Steve Kappes, USDA, Max Rothschild, ISU and Andre Eggen INRA, France. A large group of well known plant genomics people also attended from Europe and the US and represented private and public issues. While good progress has been made, points of concern were raised from several people on the need for continued collaboration, funding, training and the technical challenges that face us all. Specific recommendations included suggestions on ways to secure funding for collaborative visits, training of scientists and students and support of bioinformatics research.

An important stakeholder meeting on agricultural genomics held in Washington, DC on Friday, September 24, 1999. Drs. Caird Rexroad and Colin Scanes organized this meeting with support from individuals from the Experiment Stations, ARS, CSREES and college deans (including Drs. Nancy Cox, Dan Laster, David MacKenzie, Terry Nipp, Eugene Sander, Larry Schook, Randy Woodson, Johnny Wynne and R. Michael Roberts). An initial overview was presented by Dr. Eileen Kennedy, USDA. This was followed by a section entitled Genomics for the Competitive & Profitability of US Agriculture in which an overview was given by Dr. Floyd Horn, ARS. Other speakers in this section included Dr. Mary Cl utter, NSF, Dr. David MacKenzie, NE Region, Dr. Jim Womack, Texas A&M, Dr. Mark Trusheim, Monsanto and Dr. Kellye Eversole, NCGA. The next section was devoted to Genomics for Food Safety and Environmental Quality and included an overview by Dr. Dan Laster, USDA-ARS, MARC and other talks by Dr. Bonnie Buntain, USDA, Dr. Chuck Schoder, NCBA and Dr. Clair Fraser, TIGR. A final section was devoted to Funding of Agricultural Genomics and included presentations by Dr. Roger Wyse, Burrill & Co., Dr. Richard Lower, ESCOP, Dr. Cliff Gabriel, OSTP and discussion by Dr. Maureen Kelly, USB and Beth Lautner, NPPC. Dr. Mike Roberts, CSREES/USDA provided a final wrap-up. It is hoped that this meeting may set the stage for increases in funding for agricultural genomics. The particular needs are for a three-pronged agricultural genomics initiative in the area of plants, livestock and microbial genomics. The rational for these include: 1) Producer profitability/ national competitiveness, 2) Food safety and 3) Environmental stewardship. It is obvious that the understanding lives tock genomes will be aided by the rapid progress in sequencing the human genome. The bringing together of a strong group of stakeholders related to animal, plants and microbes is seen as a needed to develop a broad coalition of support and to press for an agricultural genome initiative. The organizers were pleasantly satisfied with the progress of the meeting and look for things to move forward. (kindly provided by Dr. Colin Scanes).

The Universidade Federal de Vicosa recently hosted an International Symposium on Animal Breeding and Genetics. The meeting was held September 21-24 and was an excellent mixture of quantitative and molecular papers. US speakers included Drs. Archie Clutter, Max Rothschild, Bill Muir, Ignacy Miztal, Dan Gianola, Rohan Fernando and Dick Quaas. The meeting included many excellent Brazilian and international speakers and the proceedings from the meeting are very complete and useful. Our hosts put on an excellent meeting and their hospitality was superb.

Competitive grant program updated. As most people know, the Federal Government is presently working temporarily via a "Continuing Resolution" while Congress and the Administration try to work out details of the budget that was supposed to be passed by October 1. If and when that occurs, there is hope that the USDA National Research Initiative-Competitive Grants Program (NRI) budget will be approved at last year's $119M level. This is much below the President's initial request of $200M, but $14M above the reduced budget initially included in the House version of the Ag Appropriations Bill. The final outcome for next year remains uncertain. Meanwhile, the announcement of the 2000 USDA NRI Grants Program has been posted at http://www.reeusda.gov/nri/ and the deadline for the Animal Genome and Genetic Mechanisms panel is Feb. 15, 2000. Swine geneticists are strongly encouraged to apply!! Note that the Animal Genome Basic Reagents and Tools special program is included again in this year's program. This program accepts proposals (up to $1 million in total costs) that will provide critical shared animal genome reagents to facilitate research progress in this area. Five such grants were awarded this past year involving resources such as new microsatellites, BAC libraries, physical and comparative maps, and EST (expressed sequence tags 3D sequenced cDNA library sets) banks. This years92 grantees recently met in Washington so that the NRI could review their plans and provide consultation. The NRI Program officials (e.g., Chief Scientist, Michael Roberts and his soon-to-be successor) will monitor the progress of these programs carefully and insure the public availability of the resources generated. (kindly provided by Jerry Dodgson)

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. See previous Pig Genome Update 38. 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) is 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. Please also send requests of primers for genome scans to M. Rothschild so that the next set can include suggestions from the pig genome community.

Plant & Animal Genome VIII (PAG-VIII) and the NAGRP 2000 meetings are coming! Most of you will have received registration information for PAG-VIII, but, if not, it can be viewed by clicking on the PAG-VIII title at the conference Web site, http://www.intl-pag.org/ . Abstracts were to be submitted on line at this address by Oct. 15. Registration can also be completed on-line or using a form obtained at the site. The registration fee is $375 for those from non-profit institutions, if postmarked by Nov. 5; $475, thereafter ($100 more for participants from industry.) This year the swine committee gets an early start on Sunday, January 9 with an 8:30 a.m. session and continuing all day until 5:30 p.m. Numerous other workshops will run concurrently on Sunday, with the PAG talks and workshops running Monday through Wednesday, culminating with Wednesday night's banquet. For those interested in infectious diseases, PAG-VIII will be followed directly by the first Ag Microbial Genome meeting; see the same web site for details. Limited travel support for NAGRP members is available: contact me at mfrothsc@iastate.edu, if interested. Graduate students may compete for a Neal Jorgensen Travel Award of $300 plus complementary registration; see http://www.intl-pag.org/ or contact me before Nov. 15.

Upcoming meetings:

Physiological Genomics and Rat Models, Dec. 9-12, 1999, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, N.Y. Contact info: 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 40, including short meeting announcements, are always welcome. Please send by December 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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