Pig Genome Update No. 4

January 1, 1994

 1. The National Animal Genome Research Program and NC-210 Meetings 
 2. USPIDBASE Enrollment 
 3. Microsattlite Distribution 
 4. Meeting with Industry 
 5. New Recruitement: Dr. Lizhen Wang 
 6. Conferneces and Workshops 
 7. ANGENMAP Discussion Group Growing 
 8. Grant Deadlines 
 9. Chinese Pig Agreement 
 10.Join the International PiGMap Effort 
 11.Human Genome News 

The National Animal Genome Research Program and NC-210 Meetings    [go to top]

The National Animal Genome Research Program and NC-210 Meetings were held in Salt Lake City on November 17-19. Overall the meetings were an excellent forum to discuss the progress in gene mapping and plans for future collaboration. The meeting began with an informal reception and was followed by an introduction from Dr. Harris Lewin and guest talks by Drs. Chris Haley from PiGMaP, Roger Stone from MARC and Ina Hoeschele from VPI. Chris overviewed the excellent collaboration of the PiGMaP people from the 18 participating labs and showed results from a few chromosomes. He also discussed some plans for future collaboration and encouraged labs in the U.S. to participate. Roger gave an overview of the MARC effort in gene mapping in several species and, though he did not reveal many particulars he said that results would be published in the near future. He also discussed research database development and marker development at MARC. Ina finished up the night with a technical talk on QTLs and programs and methods to measure QTL effects.

The next morning was devoted to the NC-210 meeting. In this meeting some procedural matters were discussed. It was decided that the chair of NC-210 would also serve as the chair of the swine species committee. Dr. Michael Misfeldt was elected the new chair and Dr. Joan Lunney was elected secretary. The secretary position also serves as chair-elect for the following year. After this was completed a guest talk by Chris Haley on QTL effects was presented. Chris did an very good job discussing the magnitude of the experiments needed to determine QTLs for some traits. Station reports were next given from the participating stations that attended. These included the Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma stations and the federal lab at Beltsville (BARC). There were excellent results from the labs that reported. Illinois reported efforts to move ahead on QTL research, primarily with reproductive traits in their resource family. Iowa reported on the mapping of many genes in conjunction with PiGMaP and the production of muscle and spleen ESTs. Massachusetts discussed successful efforts to make a cosmid library. Minnesota discussed efforts related to the Hal locus and their research on mapping IL-4 and IL-6 and research on methods to immortalize swine cells. They are also working with BARC on microsatellite development especially for markers on chromosome 6. At Missouri research has centered on the swine T cell receptor and the immortalization of some T cell lines. Wisconsin discussed research on establishing some PCR based markers and development of families for QTL research. The USDA-BARC station discussed disease resistance and chromosome sorting research. Oklahoma discussed its interest in pig gene mapping and research to investigate if mouse markers could be useful in swine. Two additional reports, one from USDA-NADC on research on disease loci on chromosome 6 and one from Kansas on efforts to develop new methods for physical mapping, were presented in written form. After Station reports, Dr. Neal Jorgensen, administrative advisor for NC-210 and Dr. Dick Frahm, CSRS representative for the NAGRP, presented some remarks on collaboration and cooperation. I also presented information on the coordinator's activities, especially U.S. and PiGMaP reference family DNA and microsatellite development.

The afternoon session contained reports from Dr. Dick Frahm and Dr. Henry Shands, Director of the National Genetics Resources Program in USDA. The overall program and budget of $380,000 was discussed. An overall chair (Dr. Larry Schook) and secretary (Dr. Susan Lamont) were elected for this year. A meeting date of September 22-23, 1994 was selected for next year's meeting. The final reports for the afternoon were from the species coordinators and were related to progress on databases, marker sharing, reference families and international cooperation. All species and their coordinators are making excellent progress in their efforts. The final talk was by Dr. Alan Hillyard who explained the features of the public databases he is helping to develop (see comments below). The following day the NC-210 meeting resumed with discussion on points raised the previous day. On the database development there was discussion on why all the species will have a similar format and the need to discuss research databases at a later time. Discussion continued on the choice of microsatellites to be shared. This discussion was useful for the coordinator. Future objectives and ideas for collaboration were discussed. These included physical mapping, reference families, markers, workshops and the development of a QTL project. A committee was suggested to discuss possible QTL projects and include Drs. Charles Louis, Archie Clutter, Gary Rohrer and David Meeker. They plan to collect ideas and meet in March. There were final wrap-ups by the chairs of NC-209 and NC-210 and they were thanked for their efforts in putting on the meeting. The last afternoon the executive committee for the NAGRP met and discussed budgets and other administrative activities. Reports from each of the species will be prepared and hopefully distributed in late February or early March. Anyone wishing to get a copy of my coordinator's report please write or call for a copy. Finally let me say that I think the meetings went well. All participants are thanked for their efforts. I will be visiting often with the new chair, Dr. Michael Misfeldt, and others to keep the collaboration and cooperation on a continued positive track.

USPIGBASE Enrollment    [go to top]

At the meeting in Salt Lake all the species coordinators met with their committees and initial databases were agreed upon. Each database will be similar to the mouse database. We have been working closely with Dr. Alan Hillyard in designing the pig database to meet everyone's needs. The database will be called USPIGBASE and you can enroll by sending the attached brown enrollment sheet to me. I will then send you all you need to get started. Initially the displays will be modest but eventually for those with advanced hardware the map displays should be extremely powerful. At present the database is relatively empty but as more is published the database will grow.

Microsatellite Distribution    [go to top]

We began distributing the first 25 pairs of microsatellites. These are on 13 chromosomes and there is more than one marker on 8 of the chromosomes. All of the microsatellites are published and additional microsatellite markers will be chosen soon from newly published information. For further information or to request them, contact me by phone or by E-mail at mfrothsc@iastate.edu.

Meetings with the Industry    [go to top]

Meetings with the Industry continue to be an important aspect of this effort. A couple of weeks ago I met with members of the National Swine Improvement Federation in St. Louis. About 75 people attended including various producers, industry and breeding company representatives, extension and university personnel. At the meeting I presented an update on the coordination effort and the progress on gene mapping in the pig. Also of note is that one important decision that was reached at the Salt Lake meeting of the NAGRP was that industry personnel are welcome at all future species committee meetings except for the business portion of the meeting. We hope industry people will join us next year.

New Recruitment: Dr. Lizhen Wang    [go to top]

Dr. Lizhen Wang will be joining our group to help in the coordination effort. Her primary responsibility will be to assist with information to place in the database and to assist me. She has her Ph.D. from Guelph and is completing a postdoctoral stay at VPI.

Conferences and Workshops    [go to top]

Several conferences involving gene identification and gene mapping are coming up. For details about a comparative gene mapping conference in Norway in February, please contact Dr. Harris Lewin by E-mail at Blood@uiucvmd.bitnet. On May 4, in St. Louis, just before Poultry Breeders Roundtable (May 5-6), Iowa State University's Animal Breeding and Genetics group in the Department of Animal Science will co-host a conference with NCR-150 on "Future Genetics for the Animal Industry" for industry and university personnel. This conference will cover gene mapping and QTL research and will be directed towards developing more interactions with industry. For details please contact Dr. Gene Freeman at Iowa State University. Two workshops are in the planning stage. The first is a workshop on quantitative trait loci (QTL) and is being planned as part of the 5th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Improvement which will be held in Guelph, Canada the first week of August. The second workshop, also in the planning stage, will be on Chromosome 6 and will most likely take place at about the same time as the next NAGRP meeting in September 1994. More details will follow later. As coordinator I will be assisting the planners as needed and supporting in a monetary fashion both workshops. If you have good ideas for a workshop don't hesitate to throw them out for discussion.

ANGENMAP -- E-Mail Discussion Group    [go to top]

Over 150 people are now on ANGENMAP, the E-mail discussion group. If you have a question, comment, or just want to see what people think, you need only to direct your inquiry to ANGENMAP@IASTATE.EDU and the rest of the people will see it.

Grant Deadlines    [go to top]

You still have time for several of the National Research Initiative grant deadlines. Relative to this group's interests, they are: Jan. 18 - Sustaining Animal Health and Well Being; March 6 - Improving Animal Growth and Development and March 6 - Identifying Genetic Mechanisms and Gene Mapping. Research career enhancement awards, equipment grants and seed grants are all due Feb. 22.

Chinese Pig Agreement    [go to top]

There will be a meeting between the parties in early January, hopefully to resolve outstanding differences.

Join the International PiGMaP Effort    [go to top]

Permits to import PiGMaP family DNA from the U.K., French, Swedish and now the Dutch families (91 F2 individuals) have been obtained. Some labs have already asked for transfer permits to allow transferring of DNA. If interested, please contact me.

Human Genome News    [go to top]

There is some very good information which may be of help for you with your research or in the classroom. For this information, please write HGMIS, Mailing Address, Betty K. Mansfield, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6050.

Contributions to Pig Genome Update are always welcome. Please send by the 15th of the month.


                    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

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