Location: Genomics and Bioinformatics Research
Project Number: 6066-21310-005-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: May 20, 2018
End Date: May 19, 2023
1. Advance and accelerate translational research for ARS and its collaborators that addresses the agricultural needs of primarily the Southeast region, through data generation, data analysis, and data management, with an emphasis on genomic approaches and on crop, animal, insect, and microbiome analyses; support germplasm analysis for breeding and for trait genetic and molecular analyses; and support gene expression analysis and gene discovery. 1.A. A cross section of GBRU operations in genomics and bioinformatics. 1.B. Specific ongoing collaborative projects. 1.C. Data Management. 2. Accelerate ARS bioinformatics community development and capacity building, primarily for the Southeast region, through training workshops, webinars, and direct project participation; develop and evaluate new tools, workflows, and systems that enable ARS and its collaborators to more efficiently manage, analyze, and share diverse streams of biological data and knowledge, including high throughput genotyping and phenotyping, thereby enhancing crop and animal genetic improvement, health, and nutrition. 2.A. Bioinformatics community development and capacity building. 2.B. Development of new tools and procedures.
The Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Unit’s (GBRU) primary function is conducting research in the areas of bioinformatics and genomics on a wide array of species and topics. Genomic technologies are powerful tools for germplasm improvement using marker assisted selection (MAS), biotechnology, or synthetic biology, and for analyzing associated biological processes (genetics, physiology, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and evolutionary biology). Thus, many ARS scientists, e.g., crop and animal breeders, have a direct need for genomic tools in their research. Others, e.g., soil scientists, can enhance their research dramatically using genomic tools to analyze the microbiome, if the technologies and appropriate expertise are available. However, not all ARS locations have sufficient resources to support core genomic technologies. Thus, the mission of the ARS Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Unit (GBRU), is to: (1) coordinate, facilitate, collaborate and conduct genomics and bioinformatics research emphasizing the Southeast region; (2) serve as a research and training resource for genomic technologies and bioinformatic analyses in support of ARS scientists and their collaborations; and (3) serve as a technical resource for ARS research programs that have not typically utilized these technologies, and aid in their development of genomic resources. Within the GBRU, this research project will conduct and collaborate on genome sequencing, sequence assembly and analysis, diversity analysis, marker development, haplotyping, physical and genetic map production, and transcription profiling research. Thus, essential product development includes new and improved reference genomes for plants, animals, insects, fish, and microbes that enable genomics-assisted breeding; new physical and genetic maps; improved cultivars, germplasm, or breeding lines; and new information on key agricultural problems such as disease resistance and drought tolerance.