Plant and Animal Genome Conference Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date:
Yu, J., Percy, R.G., Brubaker, C.L., Kohel, R.J., Stelly, D.M., Cantrell, R.G. 2008. Insights from the International Cotton Genome Initiative [abstract]. In: Proceedings of Plant and Animal Genome XVI Conference, January 12-16, 2008, San Diego, California. Paper No. W327.
Technical Abstract: Although cotton (Gossypium spp.) is an immensely important crop worldwide, it lacked representation by an international research organization that could facilitate global collaboration and coordination. For this and many other reasons, cotton genome research has lagged behind other major crops. In 2000, a group of cotton scientists and industry representatives discussed the need for expanding genomic resources (such as portable DNA markers and EST sequences) and coordinating genomic research (such as integrated mapping and sequencing of cotton genomes) to sustain cotton genetic improvement. The International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI) was established to facilitate communication and coordination. Over the past 7 years, ICGI has continued to define and develop its mission to increase knowledge of the structure and function of the cotton genome for the benefit of the global community. ICGI has established its Constitution and By-Laws as a guiding document for its activities. ICGI has facilitated numerous formal and informal collaborative research projects through increased communications and collaborations among the global colleagues in its five workgroups: Structural Genomics, Functional Genomics, Germplasm and Genetic Stocks, Evolutionary and Comparative Genomics, and Bioinformatics. Genomic resources such as DNA markers, EST unigenes, genomic clones, and genetic stocks are exchanged and the related information including sequences of SSR primers are shared among the global cotton community. Currently, ICGI has representation of 539 cotton scientists and industry representatives from 34 countries around the world. With rotating officers who are elected every two years and who have a rich collection of scientific perspectives, ICGI and its workgroups are charged with building a broad base of resources for coordinated cotton genome projects that are of common interest and mutual benefit. Ongoing efforts include increased emphasis on workgroup-based initiatives, focusing biennial meetings on practical work sessions and proactively discussing and supporting international efforts toward cotton genome sequencing.