Location: Genetics and Animal Breeding
Project Number: 3040-31000-104-012-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Jan 15, 2023
End Date: Jan 14, 2024
Need for workshop/groups served The completion of an ungapped assembly of a human genome, that includes all heterochromatin regions such as centromeres, telomeres, and ribosomal RNA gene arrays as well as completely resolved haplotypes of complex duplicated regions such as the immune gene loci, represents a milestone achievement in genomics. The work, which added almost 8% more sequence to the previous human reference genome, was reported in the April 1, 2022 issue of Science. It was accompanied by companion papers that examined the utility of this resource for defining epigenetic features within heterochromatin regions, detailing novel genes discovered in subtelomeric regions of the short arms of acrocentric chromosomes, and examining detailed structure of the centromeres. The human T2T success was an ad hoc effort of a group of dedicated researchers who developed new technologies and analysis approaches to successfully leverage this new resource. The need for the proposed Ruminant T2T workshop is to tap into the expertise generated in the human effort while enthusiasm for the project remains high, and to transfer the knowledge and experience of this eminent group of scientists to the livestock genomics community. Researchers involved with the study of non-livestock ruminants will also be engaged, as evolutionary forces shaping the genome based on comparison of extant ruminant species will benefit the entire community and the broader field of evolutionary genomics. Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes The primary goal of the workshop is to better understand the power and limitations of the T2T approach, develop working relationships to ensure distribution of the expertise required to do it, and spin off projects for potential funding either within agriculture or at NSF as appropriate. Quite a broad array of data beyond genome sequence was used to achieve the remarkable results documented in the Science manuscripts, but since those studies were performed, even newer technologies have been developed to enhance or increase efficiency of characterizing the “complete” genome. The Conference Grant objective is to support attendance of experts that developed these technologies to transfer the necessary knowledge and experience. Also, the human T2T assembly was performed on a haploid cell line, not a diploid animal, and we hope to tap into the expertise of the human community in overcoming barriers to employing the technology for diploid samples of ruminants. Time frame/venue/location The workshop is planned for February 23-24, 2023, at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska. An alternative date of April 6-7 would be considered if necessary. Accommodations are primarily available in Hastings, Nebraska, and a charter bus will be necessary for transport. Travel funds will be requested to increase student participation and to invite speakers with applicable expertise who may not have funds to commit to travel for a ruminant-focused workshop.
Reach out to historically interested parties to create working groups applied to individual species or specific types of across-species analyses.