NRSP-8: NAGRP Aquaculture Genome Program

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From: John Liu []
Sent: Mon, 05 Feb 2007 18:37:12 -0600
Subject: [aquaculturegenomics] Aquaculture genomics Newsletter 11 

 Congratulations to Dr. Geoff Waldbieser on a great success of the Aquaculture
Genomics Workshop: The 2007 Aquaculture Genomics Workshop was held January
13-14, 2007 at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego along with the XV
Plant and Animal Genome (PAG XV) Conference. Dr. Geoff Waldbieser of the USDA
ARS Catfish Genetics Unit was the organizer, and the Workshop was a great
success. We had a large attendance. The Saturday morning session was featured
with three invited speakers followed by a roundtable discussion with the
speakers moderated by Dr. Dennis Hedgecock (U. Southern California). After
lunch, there were nine contributed oral presentations; four by graduate
student/post doc travel award recipients, one by a post-doctoral scientist,
and three by primary investigators. The Aquaculture Business Meeting was
conducted by Dr. John Liu, followed by a poster session at the Terrace
Pavilion that included a reception sponsored by NRSP-8 and Intrinsic Life
Sciences. The invited speakers were Dr. Sergey Nuzhdin, University of
California, Davis, Dr. Stuart Macdonald, University of Kansas, and Dr. Eric
Schadt, Rosetta Inpharmatics/Merck. This year the emphasis was placed on
quantitative phenotypes and analysis of complex traits. Because genomic
analyses will be useful in the elucidation of quantitative traits in
aquacultured species, the invited speakers were focused on the analysis of
complex traits. Drs. Nuzhdin and Macdonald presented analyses of modeling
genetic structure in wild populations and modeling complex traits in
Drosophila. Dr. Schadt presented research data from human and mouse
experiments designed to model complex traits and understand networks of gene
expression in response to genetic or environmental perturbations. The
interactive roundtable discussion that followed the presentations was useful
to help the audience place these concepts in the framework of aquacultured
species. The Workshop received compliments on the quality of the morning
session from many researchers of non-aquacultured species that attended the
workshop. Congratulations also go to Dr. Dennis Hedgecock of the University
of Southern California for his efforts to organizing the Workshop.

 Congratulations to the Aquaculture Genomics Travel Award recipients: The
NRSP8 Aquaculture Executive Committee approved 10 students/postdoc Travel
Awards. One awardee did not attend the conference, so nine travel grants were
awarded. The recipients of this years Aquaculture Genomics Travel Awards
were: Melinda Baerwald of University of California, Davis; Christine N.
Kwitkowski of Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada; Nicole Langlois of Simon
Fraser University, BC, Canada; Erika Leder of University of Turku, Finland;
Bruno Louro of Centre of Marine Sciences, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal;
Eric Peatman of Auburn University; Jessica Peterson of University of
California, Davis; Elena Sarropoulou of Hellenic Centre for Marine Research,
Greece; Shaolin Wang of Auburn University.

 Dr. Bill Trumble was recognized for his leadership: Dr. Bill Trumble has
served as the Administrative Supervisor for Aquaculture Genomics for the past
8 years, going back to the NE-186 project. In recognition of his outstanding
leadership, a plaque was presented to him from the Aquaculture Genomics

 Dr. Geoff Waldbieser will be next Workshop’s organizer: Dr. Geoff
Waldbieser of the USDA ARS Catfish Genetics Unit will be our organizer for
Aquaculture Workshop next year in 2008. If you have any suggestions on the
format of the Workshop, please contact Dr. Waldbieser (gwaldbieser@msa-

 Dr. Yniv Palti was elected as Chair-elect (secretary): (Dr. Yniv Palti of
the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture was elected to serve
as the Chair-elect (secretary) for 2007-2008 year, and he will serve as the
Chair in 2008-2009 and as the organizer of 2009 Aquaculture Genomics

 Tilapia genome is to be sequenced!!!: The proposal to sequence the tilapia
genome was approved by the NIH, with sequencing to begin in late 2007. NIH-
NHGRI has committed to producing a draft assembly of the tilapia genome,
together with 2x sequencing from each of three closely related haplochromine
cichlid fish. This is a great start for genome sequencing of aquacultured

 USDA NRI fund major projects for the development of genome resources of
aquaculture species: USDA CSREES National Research Initiative (NRI) Tool and
Reagent Development Program funded several major projects for the development
of genome resources in aquaculture species including: (1) Physical mapping
project of rainbow trout for generating BAC fingerprinting map from 10X BAC
library and to initiate the integration of physical map with the genetic map;
(2) Large scale EST development project in tilapia; and (3) Physical mapping
project by BAC fingerprinting in Pacific oyster.

 Israeli Journal of Aquaculture publishes Proceedings of BARD Workshop
Aquaculture Genetics Status and Prospects: A group of Israeli and US
scientists met in Eilat, Israel to present current status of aquaculture
genetics, genomics, and breeding programs, to discuss the challenges
aquaculture geneticists face, and to seek solutions to enhance aquaculture
genetics research in general. Israeli Journal of Aquaculture published the
Proceedings of this conference as a special issue. If you are interested in
ordering a copy, please contact Dan Mires by mail at Kibbutz Ein Hamifratz,
D.N. Ashrat 25210, Israel, or by e-mail at

 Marine Biotechnology to increase coverage on genomics: The international
journal Marine Biotechnology decided to increase its coverage in the area of
genomics, particularly in the area of linkage analysis, physical mapping,
comparative genome analysis, large scale gene discovery, SNP and complex
trait analysis, microarrays, proteomics and informatic analysis of genomes,
and whole genome sequencing.

 Thanks go to Dr. Alan Mileham of Sygen International: Dr. Alan Mileham has
served as one of our Industry Representatives for the last four years. As
Sygen was purchased by Genus, and Genus has since decided to exit from
Aquaculture business, Dr. Mileham will no longer be working in the area of
shrimps. We greatly appreciate his service in the last four years.

 Dr. Scott LaPatra to serve as an Industry Representative for NRSP-8
Aquaculture: Dr. Scott LaPatra of Clear Springs Foods has accepted our
invitation to serve as one of our Industry Reps for Aquaculture under NRSP-8.
Dr. LaPatra has rich experience both in industry and in research. His main
interest is rainbow trout. We look forward to work with Dr. LaPatra.

 USDA National Needs Fellowship in Aquaculture Genomics Available at North
Carolina State University: Funding is available for three Ph.D. students at
NC State for Aquaculture Genomics under the National Needs Fellowship.
Interested students should visit for details, or
contact Dr. Craig Sullivan (

 NRI changes to e-submission only: Starting this year, USDA NRI grant
applications must be submitted by electronic submission.

 SEND your USDA-funded success stories to CSREES Muquarrab Qureshi, NAGRP
Leader, which can be used to highlight the impact of your research on animal
agriculture and wellbeing. Pictures and/or web links, links to key
publications, journal cover pages, or other stories are welcome. Please
indicate if the work was supported by USDA and/or any federal or industry
partnership. Send your material to . Thanks in
advance for your help.

 If you have any items to be shared among the members of the Aquaculture 
Genomics community, please drop a note to Dr. John Liu