Thursday, September 29, 2011

Report from 6th Intl Chick Meeting

As part of POULTRY GENOME NEWSLETTER posted in AnGenMap emailing list, I received a report from the 6th International Chicken Meeting.
 'The Sixth International Chicken Meeting, previously scheduled for Sendai, Japan, was held at the new Roslin Institute facility in Edinburgh, Scotland, September 17-20. Kudos to the outstanding organizational efforts of Dave Burt and his team (especially Liz Brown) from Roslin and thanks for their exceptional hospitality. Among the highlights: Wes Warren spoke of the on-going efforts to improve the chicken sequence assembly. He noted that the Galgal4 assembly was sent to browsers about 1.5 months ago and should be out soon, but there remains more to do to fill gaps and find missing microchromosome sequences. Almas Gheyas described the sequencing of 243 chickens, generating nearly 140M SNP and efforts to reduce this set to the most useful 675,000 SNP for a new Affymetrix genotyping array expected to be out middle of next year. There were several remarkable and even beautiful talks on cell labeling and imaging, and the use of these approaches to follow cell commitment and development pathways. Olivier Pourquie described the mechanism of somitogenesis and segmentation, along with numerous other excellent developmental biology talks. Tatsuo Fukagawa showed how the Z centromere could be deleted in DT40 cells and replaced with an engineered constitutive centromere or by selective   neocentromere evolution at a variety of locations along Z. Andrew Sinclair and Mike Clinton described the latest developments in chicken gonadal and cell autonomous somatic sex determination, respectively. Dave Burt discussed the soon-to-appear duck genome sequence and noted that reports collected at the meeting suggest that there are now at least 54 unique avian genome projects underway. Several excellent student talks and posters were also presented. The 7^th International meeting (soon to get a new, more pan-avian inclusive name) is to be held in Nagoya, Japan in November, 2012, and preliminary plans are underway for the 8^th meeting at Caltech (Pasadena, California) in 2014.'