Pig Genome Update No. 23

March 1, 1997

The Plant and Animal Genome V meeting was held January 12-16, 1997 in San Diego, California. The meeting demonstrated that advancements in plant and animal gene mapping are moving ahead nicely. The meeting was the first time animal genome researchers joined the plant meeting. Over 850 people participated and there were over 450 posters and abstracts. In addition, there were over 100 invited presentations and workshop reports. These abstracts and other information can be found at the WWW address: http://probe.nalusda.gov:8000/otherdocs/pg/pg5/allabstracts.html. As part of the meeting, several animal species groups held workshops including the pig genome scientists (see below). Invited speakers included reports on the need for a proactive role by genome scientists in describing their work to law makers and the public (Bradie Methany) and QTL experiments in several species including in tomatoes (Steve Tanksley), pigs and pine trees (Chris Haley), beef cattle (Jay Hetzel), chickens (Martien Groenen), and mice (Ariel Darvasi). Several talks presented new techniques and information on comparative genomics for coat color (Leif Andersson) and the X-chromosome in mammals (Jenny Graves). Transgenic experiments in chickens were also described (Ann Gibbons). Nearly 100 animal posters and abstracts were presented.

In addition to the talks and posters, several technique workshops were presented. These included those on AFLPs and computer graphics. Several companies also were present to discuss new products. Plant and Animal Genome VI will be January 18-22, 1998 and again will be in San Diego. Ideas for workshops and speakers can be directed to any of the planning committee (Daniel Pomp, Jay Hetzel, Hans Cheng and Max Rothschild).

NRSP-8 met on the second day of PAG V. Business included the supporting of future additions of the Horse and Aquaculture groups to the overall national project. Species coordinators presented highlights of their workshops and the administrative advisors also presented updates. Margaret Dentine (WI) will be stepping down as chair and Hans Cheng (USDA-ARS) will become next year's chair. Daniel Pomp (NE) was elected to be the vice chair. The meeting also discussed the rewrite efforts for NRSP-8. A writing committee of the officers of NRSP-8, the species committees and the coordinators was developed and will be chaired by Jerry Dodgson (MI). Any ideas you have on objectives or support should be addressed to any of the committee members.

As part of NRSP-8, the Swine Species Committee met on January 12. The day-long Swine Genome Workshop featured reports on PiGMaP (Chris Haley), QTL analysis (Leif Andersson), growth resource family analyses (Archie Clutter), embryo development (Rod Geisert), positional cloning (Sara Sunden), QTL analyses in pigs and pico-pigs (Daniel Pomp), RAPD markers (Bob Park) and microdissecting of pig chromosomes (Deryl Troyer). Other station reports were presented by Iowa, Minnesota and USDA-BARC and Administrative advisors, Dr. Colin Scanes and Dr. Dick Frahm. The committees discussed the recent revisions to NC-210 and agreed to meet at PAG VI next year. Archie Clutter (OK) will be chair and Sara Sunden was elected secretary.

The recent PiGMaP meeting in Bologna, Italy on February 2-3, 1997 was another fine example of international cooperation. Held in a room with 15th century frescos, the participants from 18 labs presented the latest results on genetic and physical mapping and QTL analysis. The new PiGMaP genetic linkage map has over 650 markers of which about 200 are genes. Five U.S. labs, including Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and USDA-BARC have included data. QTL analyses from several labs including those of Iowa reconfirmed evidence of QTL on chromosomes 4, 7 and 13. A joint analysis of data from several labs is now being prepared on data from chromosome 4. A major collaborative QTL project with over 2000 animals is well underway. A diversity pilot project involving several countries and 10 breeds will be completed soon. Plans to develop new collaborative projects for the EEC are in development.

The NCR-21 Quantitative Genetics regional project and the Gordon Conference of Quantitative Genetics met in Ventura, CA from February 9 - February 14. Reports from several stations highlighted the NCR-21 project. The Gordon Conference highlighted advances in QTL research and this year's meeting emphasized aspects of QTLs and epistasis and models to examine gene interaction.

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.

Upcoming meetings:

9th International Congress on Genes, Gene Families and Isozymes, San Antonio, April 9-14, 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 24 including short meeting announcements are always welcome. Please send by April 10.

                    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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