Pig Genome Update No. 8

September 1, 1994

  1. The ISAG Meeting in Prague
  2. The 5th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production
  3. Database Developments
  4. Recent Publications
  5. The NAGRP meeting and the NC-210 meeting

The ISAG meetings in Prague were excellent forums to present a great deal of new results from pig gene mappers. Attendees at the conference included C. Louis (MN), J. Lunney (BARC), C. Beattie, G. Rohrer, L. Alexander (MARC), B. Kirkpatrick (WI), M. Rothschild, C. Tuggle (IA) and D. Frahm (CSRS). Most of the major European pig gene mappers were also there. Several abstracts on pig gene mapping were presented including the PiGMaP linkage map, identification of new microsatellite markers, demonstrations of new physical mapping techniques and results, QTL results and comparative gene mapping in the pig. If you are interested in a particular abstract please feel free to contact me. The 2nd Pig Gene Mapping Workshop (PGM 2) was held also and attended by 79 participants. Results from several groups were presented. The PiGMaP linkage map contains 237 genes. Clay Center presented results that their map now contains 667 markers. This makes the total near 900 markers and genes. Most of the USDA markers (71%) are less than 5 cM from the next marker and the USDA estimate of the total size of the porcine genome was approximately 2600 cM. The MARC group hopes to map an additional 300+ markers within the next 6 months. The Nordic group also presented their map which will appear in Genetics in August. As part of the workshop I discussed the coordination efforts in the U.S. and also presented a review of the gene mapping research being done at the 11 U.S. labs.

Several decisions were made at the workshop following discussions. Nomenclature will follow the human nomenclature. Locus symbols for anonymous DNA markers will not be assigned until they have been mapped. Confirmed status of markers and genes will follow rules used in human mapping also. The workshop committee for the next meeting will be Alan Archibald, Merte Fredholm, Gary Rohrer, Joel Gellin and Max Rothschild.
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The 5th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production was held in Guelph and was extremely well attended. Over 1200 delegates were there, including B. Kirkpatrick, J. Lunney, M. Rothschild, A. Clutter, D. Pomp, J. Keele and D. Frahm from the U.S. swine gene mapping group and several international pig gene mappers. This meeting happens every 4 years and this year there was over a 50% increase in attendees. Of special note was the increase in papers and attendance for the gene mapping, genetic marker and polymorphism papers. An overview of pig gene mapping was provided by Alan Archibald. We had a very good workshop on QTLs in which Chris Haley presented some of his thoughts. Of particular interest and excitement were the papers that presented major genes and markers for traits. In pigs, there were two statistical papers presenting evidence for a major gene in Meishan pigs that controlled intramuscular fat (marbling) and a gene that affects production of Paris Hams. In terms of molecular work, two papers were presented. Evidence for a major gene for litter size in pigs was presented by M. Rothschild et al. (ISU). This gene, the estrogen receptor gene has been mapped to chromosome 1. Results demonstrated a 1.5 to 2.1 pig advantage for animals heterozygous or homozygous for the favorable allele. In another paper, Edfors-Lilja et al. (Sweden) presented evidence for a gene on the other end of chromosome 1 which controls white blood cell count. Additional markers were found on chromosome 8 which were associated with other measures related to natural immunity. These results demonstrated that QTL detection has come a long way since the last Congress four years ago. The next Congress will be in Australia in 1998 or 1999.
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Database developments continue to move along nicely. The co-editorship between the PiGMaP (Archibald) and U.S. (Rothschild) coordinators of the pig database is working well and over 200 publication entries will be in the database soon. Alan Archibald and myself met twice, once with Alan Hillyard (at Prague) and once with Lizhen Wang (at Guelph). Some of the new changes in the database will be discussed at our September meeting. A large number of new users have signed up for the database. At present, nodes for the database exist in the U.S., Scotland and New Zealand. Some discussion was made to standardize the name of all the database nodes to PiGBASE. This is a topic for our NC-210 meeting in September. In addition to the U.S. pig gene mapping WWW Home page, the PIGBASE WWW Home page has been developed. Access to it is possible through the U.S. pig gene mapping WWW.
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Some very good recent publications on database development by the USDA Clay Center group (John Keele, Gary Rohrer, Craig Beattie et al.) have been published in a new journal, Journal of Computational Biology. In addition, the recent issue of Science (vol 265, August 12, 1994) has some interesting papers on WWW and Mosaic.
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The NAGRP meeting and the NC-210 meeting will be held on September 22-23 in Minneapolis at the Radisson Hotel (phone: 612-379-8888, mention Animal Genome Project). Please plan to attend if you are a NC-210 member or an interested industry person. NC-210 members are to prepare written reports as outlined in the material Joan Lunney recently sent out. The NAGRP meeting looks quite good and there will be one speaker on the human genome project and another from Applied Biosystems to discuss new developments in technology. We owe a big thanks to Dr. Jerry Dodgson for arranging and planning the meetings in Minneapolis. After this meeting will be the Chromosome 6 Workshop. On October 1-3 will be a human genome meeting in Washington D.C. Other meeting dates and details will be presented in the newsletter in the future. If you have a meeting to advertise or interest in knowing about particular meetings, please contact me as I will be attending several of them.

Please note that I will no longer be using my 294-3629 phone number. I can be reached at 515-294- 6202. I have now left my half time job as Assistant Director in the Iowa Agriculture Experiment Station and returned to the Animal Science faculty full time. While the last 4 years have been fun I have planned this move for some time and it should give me more time for the coordination efforts and my research.
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Contributions to Pig Genome Update 9 are always welcome. Please send by the 20th of October.

Hope to see many of you at the meetings in Minneapolis.

                    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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