Pig Genome Update No. 22

January 1, 1997

Happy Holidays to all of you, your families and colleagues!

A super meeting and very good collaboration made it possible to write an excellent revision to the Regional Project NC-210 "Mapping the Pig Genome." Chaired by Chris Tuggle the revised project was finished and sent off for review recently. The project will have as its objectives to 1) Develop and apply technology for positional cloning of ETL in the pig and 2) Analyze the function and expression of genes that regulate traits of economic importance in the pig. Participants in the revised project include ARS-BARC, Brigham Young University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota and the University of Nebraska. If you are interested in joining this effort please contact Dr. Chris Tuggle (cktuggle@iastate.edu) or attend the swine genome workshop at the PAGV meeting.

Allerton II was a big success. Hosted by Harris Lewin and co chaired by Larry Schook and Craig Beattie the meeting attracted a broad group of participants and was quite interesting. The papers present included information on discoveries in human medicine, statistical approaches for improved QTL discovery, results from livestock, mice and plants, and working with companies and intellectual property. It is difficult to boil down all the materials from the conference into a few lines but I was left with several impressions. The work and money invested into human research appears to be incredible. One speaker suggested that his company invested 2-4 million per gene for new discoveries. While their sequencing group was relatively small, their company had 50 people world wide looking for special families for certain traits and had nearly 200 scientists to try to understand the biology of genes which they had discovered. In animals, even mice, understanding the gene action and interactions still remains a major challenge. Statistical techniques to resolve questions related to power and significance of experiments continue to improve but can not replace the need for good family material and well designed experiments. The evening session on intellectual property was also quite useful. All the papers will be published in a future issue of Animal Biotechnology and video tapes of the sessions are obtainable through Harris Lewin.

The National Swine Improvement Federation and the Ontario Carcass Symposium were recently held in Ottawa, Canada. The joint meeting concentrated on the genetics of meat quality and on topics related to genetic testing and gene mapping. The meeting was very well attended with over 200 participants and the Canadian hosts did a super job. Information on the two proceedings resulting from the joint meeting can be obtained from either John Gibson in Guelph or Charles Stanislaw from North Carolina State University.

Don't miss out ! Plant and Animal Genome V (PAG-V) - NAGRP- NC-210 will be January 12-16, 1997, San Diego, CA and there is still time to register. As noted previously, the next NAGRP meeting will be held January 12-16, 1997 at the Town & Country Hotel (1-800-772-8527) in San Diego as part of the Plant and Animal Genome V (PAG-V) meeting. A meeting of NC-210 will be held on Sunday, January 12 as a preliminary workshop of PAG-V (the agenda looks quite good). PAG-V will include Plenary Sessions in areas such as New Technologies, QTLs, Gene Discovery and Characterization, Comparative Map Based Analysis, Gene and Chromosome Organization, and Genome Diversity. Poster Sessions and the combined NRSP-8 (NAGRP) Business Meeting will also be included. Advance registration will be $325 ($100 for predoctoral students), and the hotel room rate will be $75.00 plus tax (single or double occupancy). All administrative questions, including requests for the registration brochure, should be directed to Scherago International, Inc.; 212-643-1750; email pag5@scherago.com. We will say it again ! Some Pig Genome Coordination funds will be available to assist with travel costs to PAG-V, especially for those NC-210 members who don't have Experiment Station travel support (contact Max Rothschild if interested).

With the New Year comes thoughts on the renewal for NRSP-8! The NRSP-8 National Animal Genome Research Program renewal application will be due in late 1997. As requested, Species Coordinators have begun to consider objectives and a structure on which to base such an application. A draft proposal should be ready for consideration at the business meeting in San Diego in January. At the moment, three objectives have been proposed which are, roughly speaking: 1) Develop high resolution comparative genome maps aligned across species. 2) Enhance existing linkage maps and integrate them with various types of physical maps. 3) Provide editorial and development support for internationally shared species genome databases and generate and distribute other community resources (e.g., mapping primer sets, DNA panels, special clone libraries, newsletters, conferences, etc.) to expand the usefulness of genome maps. Aspects of the structure of a potential future NRSP-8 which need to be considered include: should we continue to have Species Coordinators (perhaps better called "Facilitators") and, if so, how should they be chosen? Can bioinformatics (database, WWW) activities be centralized at a single location? What sort of budget is feasible to request? Is there an opportunity to integrate our efforts with plant agricultural genomics into a larger Food-Related Genome Initiative? Suggestions on these or any other aspects of NRSP-8 would be welcomed by the relevant Species Coordinators (kindly provided by Jerry Dodgson).

As we head for our fourth year around the track there is a planned addition to NAGRP. Horse genome scientists have put together an addendum to join the NAGRP, which will probably be reviewed in San Diego. This additional Species Technical Committee for the horse is therefore expected to be part of the effort to renew NRSP-8, as described above. The possibility that an aquaculture group will also form an additional Species Committee in time for the renewal application is likely. Discussions on the renewal have been quite positive and Colin Scanes (lead Administrative Advisor for NRSP-8), Neal Jorgensen (Emeritus Administrative Advisor) and Dan Laster (Director, USDA-ARS-Meat Animal Research Center) are putting together a draft agreement on future NRSP-8 policy that will formally place shared responsibility for the National Animal Genome Research Program with both USDA-CSREES/SAES and USDA-ARS under the USDA Research, Education, and Extension (REE) Division. Hopefully this will increase participation and collaboration from all parties and from all accounts the experiment station directors appear to be very positive about the renewal of NRSP-8.

1997 USDA National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program has been announced. The Program Description and Application Kit can be accessed at http://www.reeusda.gov or can be obtained by phone at 202-401-5048 or by email at psb@reeusda.gov. Of interest to scientists are the Improving Animal Growth and Development and Identifying Animal Genetic Mechanisms and Gene Mapping Programs, with a deadline of Feb. 15, 1997 and Sustaining Animal Health and Well-Being and Enhancing Animal Reproductive Efficiency Programs, deadline Jan. 15, 1997.

A second set of fluorescently labeled primers for pig microsatellites is now available. The second set contains 33 primer pairs bringing the total number of available fluorescent primers to 96. Information about all the primers can be found at the U.S. Pig Gene Mapping web site (http://www.genome.iastate.edu). Fluorescent primer set 2 can be obtained by sending a request to the U.S. Pig Genome Coordinator (mfrothsc@iastate.edu). Also, a limited number of fluorescent primer set 1 are still available. Funds for these materials are provided by the USDA-CSREES Pig Genome Coordination Project. Suggestions to produce additional primer pairs are also welcome. This next year's goal will be to make at least an additional 50 pairs.

Got an idea to share resources? We are always looking for ideas from pig gene mappers. In the past, people have suggested sharing primers, DNA and information about databases and funds for travel. We already have accomplished many of these suggestions. Other ideas of services that can be provided as part of the coordination effort are under consideration. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Nothing is more fantastic than your first real genetics experiment. Congratulations to Daniel Pomp and his wife Andrea on the birth of their first child, a son named Amos.

Upcoming meetings:

Animal Genome Meeting (in conjunction with Plant and Animal Genome V), San Diego, CA, January 12-15, 1997,

Gordon Conference on Quantitative Genetics, Doubletree Hotel, Ventura, CA, February 9-14, 1997, contact Gordon Research Council, University of Rhode Island, P.O. Box 984, West Kingston, RI 02892-0984.

Canadian Farm Animal Genetic Resources at the Crossroads: Crisis or Opportunity? will be held on February 27-28, 1997 at Le Chateau Cartier, 1170 Aylmer Road, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada J9H 5E1; contact Dr. S.K. Ho, Centre for Food and Animal Research, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0C6 or email: cfcfagr@magi.com.

9th International Congress on Genes, Gene Families and Isozymes, San Antonio, TX; contact isozyme@darwin.sfbr.org for details.

International Conference on Animal Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China; June 11-14, 1997; contact Ning Li, phone 86 10 62633055 or 86 10 62632715, Fax: 86 10 62582332 or 86 10 62582128, email: ninglbau@public3.bta.net.cn.

Transgenic Animals in Agriculture, Granlibakken Conference Center, Tahoe City, CA, August 24-27, 1997; see http://pubweb.ucdavis.edu/Documents/BIOTECH/biotech1.htm.

International Course in QTL Detection and Marker-Assisted Selection, Mitzpa Rachel Convention Center, Jerusalem, Israel, August 24-Sept. 4, 1997 (dates tentative). Contact: Joel Weller at weller@agri.huji.ac.il.

6th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, January 12-16, 1998. Contact: Dr. Laurie Piper at 61 67 73-3609, Fax: 61 67 73-3611, email: 6wcgalp@mendel.une.edu.au.

Contributions to Pig Genome Update 23 including short meeting announcements are always welcome. Please send by February 10.

A special year end thanks to all who have helped in the last year with the gene mapping project. The suggestions, ideas and information have really helped to make this activity easier and more useful. It is my hope that all of you have a happy holiday season and that the New Year brings with it good health, happiness and blessings for you, your families and friends.

                    Max Rothschild
                    U.S. Pig Genome Coordinator
                    225 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
Mailing list: angenmap@iastate.edu

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