Pig Genome Update No. 13

July 1, 1995

  1. Recent Held Meetings of Interest
  2. Workshop on Genes for the Future: Discovery, Ownership, Access Held by NABC
  3. Automated Genotyping for Plant and Animal Research, a Symposium and Workshop
  4. QTL Research in Pigs
  5. Primers for 271 Microsatellites
  6. Database Developments
  7. Future Meetings
  8. The Coming Pig Genome Meeting

Several meetings of interest have recently been held. The 1995 Beltsville Symposium was titled "Biotechnology's Role in the Genetic Improvement of Farm Animals." After Steve O'Brien's keynote talk on genome evolution, the first session summarized the current status of genome diversity (P. Cunningham), the international FAO program for germplasm preservation (K. Hammond) and the USCanadian plans for germplasm preservation (R. Gerrits). At the start of the next session on Mapping Technologies, C. Beattie reviewed the tremendous progress in genome map development in the livestock species. He was followed by talks on chromosome specific libraries (J. Lunney), expressed sequence tags (S. Lamont), use of RAPD primers in sheep and an overview of sheep genome mapping in general (J. Medrano), synthesis of linkage and physical maps (J. Womack), and use of genome maps for analyses of disease resistance associated genes (H. Lewin). Progress in embryo and gamete technology was highlighted in the next session with discussions of pig oocyte development (B. Day), preliminary results on sheep produced via nuclear transfer (I. Wilmut), and clear separation of male and female sperm using flow cytometry (L. Johnson). R. Wall discussed progress in mammary gland transgenic gene expression and was followed by S. Stice's encouraging reports on progress in embryonic stem cell cultures in livestock and B. Wentworth's discussion of poultry primordial germ cells. The time for biotechnology-associated regulation development and the societal/political pressures on these policies were discussed by FDA (S. Bauer) and FSIS (P. Basu) scientists and by R. Woo from the Center for Food and Nutritional Policy and R. Zimbleman from the American Society of Animal Science. The final session on Marker Application started with a lively review of issues involved in designing protocols for marker assisted selection (J. Weller). This was followed by discussions of uses of genetic markers in pigs (L. Andersson), dairy cattle (M. Dentine) and poultry (W. Fairfull). The session ended with a discussion of the needs for well characterized databases and information systems in marker- assisted selection strategies (J. Keele) and potential uses of this information in the "real world" (P. VanRaden). Poster sessions provided further data on current developments. Overall the sessions provided uptodate reviews of these rapidly developing areas. A book covering all the invited talks will be available in early 1996 (kindly provided by J. Lunney).

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National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (NABC) 7, "Genes for the Future: Discovery, Ownership, Access" was held at the University of MissouriColumbia , May 2427, 1995. There were about 135 individuals in attendance including three people from NRSP8, S. Lamont (National Animal Genome Technical Committee Chair), J. Womack (Cattle Species Coordinator) and L. Wang (assistant to the Pig Genome Coordinator), who participated in the meeting. The meeting began with Plenary Session IGene Mapping and the Political Economy of Agricultural Research. R. Flavell (Plant research, John Innes Institute, England) and K. Merrigan (Henry Wallace Institute, MD) gave talks. Flavell's topic of "Gene Mapping and the Political Economy of Agricultural Research" was very interesting and was picked up throughout the conference. He addressed social, economic and ethical issues created by genetic mapping. For instance, consumer acceptance of transgenic crops may not be straightforward. He stressed that patenting of genes will inhibit free global flow of germplasm for reutilization in other breeding programs. He also pointed out several reasons to anticipate substantial impacts on agricultural science over the decades. For example, the genetic determination of key traits will become known at the molecular level. K. Merrigan listed her top 10 topics in view of the "Washington Scene". These included: bt resistance, agenda setting, accountability, regulatory needs, cost of research, patent scope, defensive patents, southern neighbors, research exemptions and university patents. Later, R. Sederoff (Forest Biotechnology Group, North Carolina State University), J. Tribble (Patent Counsel, Merck & Company), L. Lamola (US/AID, Washington, D. C.) and J. Solleiro (International Development Research Center, Mexico), gave presentations in Plenary Session IIOwnership, Economic, Legal, and Institutional Issues. In Plenary Session IIIAccess, Public and Private, H. Shands (National Genetics Research Program, USDA/ARS/NSP) discussed "Access: Bartering and Brokering Genetic Resources." P. R. Day (AgBiotech Center, Rutgers State University) talked about "The Impact of Patents on Plant Breeding Using Biotechnology" and J. Kinsman (Farmer, Wisconsin) addressed "Farmers' Rights: What is Fair." Later J. L. Solleiro stressed "Intellectual Property Rights: Key to Access or Entry Barrier for Developing Countries." Keynote Speaker, M. E. Clutter, National Science Foundation, discussed "Agricultural Biotechnology and the National Agenda." Following the first three Plenary Sessions, individuals were divided into large groups to attend one of three workshops. Each workshop had a major topic to discuss: Workshop A, Research Policy Issues; Workshop B, Competing Rights; and Workshop C, Role of Governments and Public Institutions. For each topic, issues were addressed and summary recommendations were made. Workshop results were summarized and reported in Plenary Session IV. The meeting was closed with "Tying It All Together" by L. Meagher, Rutgers State University, New Jersey. A publication will result from this meeting (kindly provided by L. Wang and S. Lamont).

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Automated genotyping for plant and animal research was the central theme of a symposium and workshop attended by over 120 people at Iowa State University on June 5 and 6. Several representatives from ABI presented overviews of the new automated genotyping approaches currently available with existing sequencers and that will be available with the new capillary type sequencers that will be available soon. The featured speaker was Dr. Denis Milan, from INRA in Toulouse, France. Dr. Milan is a member of PiGMaP and is also a user of the microsatellites provided by the U.S. Pig Genome Coordination effort. Dr. Milan presented his results using automated genotyping in pigs and also the software he has developed. Dr. Milan has successfully used hundreds of microsatellites in an automated genotyping scheme to identify the RN- gene, associated with meat quality in processed pork. On the second day, participants were able to see and use some of the genotyping software. Participants at the conference included a number of people from several pig breeding and AI companies.

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QTL research in pigs will be one of the objectives of the proposed new North Central Region Research project that is being proposed by members of NC-206. At the recent meeting at VPI researchers in NC-206 revised their project and discussed collaboration in QTL research and the use of markers provided by the US Pig Genome Coordination effort. The new project proposal will be submitted this fall. If approved, this regional project would likely meet in the future with members of NC-210.

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Primers for 271 microsatellites from the three published porcine genetic linkage maps are available free-of- charge while supplies of aliquoted samples last. A new set of 97 pairs of primers was made available in May. The primers come in 10,000 pmole units. If you would like a set, please send me a letter or e-mail (mfrothsc@iastate.edu). Primers have gone now to over 25 labs worldwide. Additional aliquots (10,000 pmole) of most of the previous 175 microsatellites have nearly been depleted. Additional aliquots may be made this Fall depending on availability of funds and requests. For a list of the microsatellites available, by chromosome, just go to the http://www.genome.iastate.edu. If you have questions, please contact us.

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Database developments include the expansion of more information in our WWW site for pig gene mapping and in PiGBASE, the international database for the pig genome. Database usage continues to grow. Easy access exists through our WWW address (http://www.genome.iastate.edu). Ideas for additions or improvements should be directed to Max Rothschild or Lizhen Wang (wangl@iastate.edu).

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It's not too late to make plans for some interesting Summer and Fall meetings. These future meetings include:

4th Int. Veterinary Immunology Symposium, Davis, CA, July 16-21, 1995

9th North American Colloquium on Domestic Animal Cytogenetics and Gene Mapping, College Station,TX, July 18-21, 1995

American Society of Animal Science Meeting, Orlando FL, July 25-28, 1995

Automated genotyping workshop, Minneapolis, MN, September 20-21, 1995

Chromosome 7 workshop, Minnesuing Acres, WI, September 21-24, 1995

International Equine Gene Mapping Workshop, Lexington, KY, October 1820, 1995

Swine in Biomedical Research: 1995 Animal Models, College Park, MD Oct. 22-25, 1995

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Don't forget the pig genome meetings associated with the NC-210 and NRSP-8. They meet in College Park, MD on October 26-27, 1995. For details, please contact Joan Lunney, the chair of NC-210.

Contributions to Pig Genome Update 14 including short meeting announcements are always welcome. Please send by the 15th of August.

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                    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

Paid for by funds from the NRSP-8
USDA/CSREES sponsored
Pig Genome Coordination Program
Mailing list: angenmap@db.genome.iastate.edu

© US Pig Genome Coordination Program