For the Newsgroup

David Johnston daj at nhm.ac.uk
Wed Jan 12 05:07:34 EST 2000

Dear all,
the following message has been forwarded for David Johnston who shares an
important  piece of news to the schisto-community.
Please, read it carefully and respond as fast as possible in the way that
David suggests. This initiative will be very important for us in the
future, and all of us will profit from this at the end.
Christoph Grevelding (Moderator)

The forwarded message from David Johnston:

Dear Colleagues,

Large scale genomic sequencing is currently in progress for Plasmodium and
for many of the parasites within WHO-TDR Parasite Genomes Initiative. To
date, large scale genomic sequencing has not been initiated for Schistosoma
as neither the facilities / resources, nor the financial support / interest
of the funding agencies have been available. However, with your support,
this situation could be about to change. The NIH has identified 6
organisms, including S. mansoni, as high priorities for genomic sequencing
and will accept proposals for two years worth of funding at US$ 1,500,000
per organism per year. The Schistosoma Research Community must act now in
order to maximise the chance of these funds being released.


For the past few months, Phil LoVerde, Co-ordinator of the WHO-TDR
Schistosoma Genome Network, has been in discussion with TIGR about the
possibility of TIGR providing the facilities and manpower to undertake
large scale genomic sequencing of S. mansoni. As a result of these
discussions, TIGR ,with Dr. Leda Cummings as PI, will submit a grant to the
NIH for the deadline of February 1st 2000, to initiate a genome sequencing
project on S. mansoni. (Dr Cummings has previously been responsible for
co-ordinating TIGR's sequencing of P. falciparum chromosomes 10 and 11).

The project that will be submitted will involve the sequencing of both ends
of inserts of clones in a BAC library. The BAC library constructed by Denis
LePaslier and Ray Pierce will be used (library details) and a second BAC
library will be constructed by Peter DeJong to provide an independent set
of clones to maximise sequence coverage. The number of BAC ends sequenced
will result in

(1) new gene discovery
(2) the identification of microsatellite markers
(3) sequence markers approximately every 20,000 base pairs throughout the
S. mansoni genome.

In addition approximately 2 Mb of finished sequence from a single
chromosome will be completed. This will also provide essential information
on genome and gene organization.


This announcement serves 2 purposes:

(1) to inform the Schistosoma Research Community of the above proposal
(2) to ask for your support by writing letters to Dr. Leda Cummings stating
their enthusiasm for this project.

This is a real opportunity for us to have access to a significant amount of
genetic information and set the stage for continued sequencing of the S.
mansoni genome.

So that there are no misunderstandings about the nature of this application
and TIGR's role in it; the entire US$ 3,000,000 will go to TIGR for
sequencing and all of the information generated will be made immediately
available in the public domain. In addition to putting the data in the
public domain, TIGR will establish a web site that will be accessible by
the scientific community much like the ones they have for malaria and
Below is a sample letter as a template that can be modified to suit each
individual researcher. Please either e-mail the letters on  letter head or
fax them on letterhead to either:

Leda Cummings at (1) 301-838-0208 / leda at tigr.org
Phil LoVerde at (1) 716-829-2169 / LOVERDE at BUFFALO.EDU

Remember, the proposal must be submitted to NIH by 1st Feb 2000, so please
act now and send your letters of support as soon as possible.

Thank you, in advance, for your support in this matter

Phil LoVerde (Co-ordinator of the WHO-TDR Schistosoma Genome Network)
David Johnston (Secretary to the WHO-TDR Schistosoma Genome Network)



Dr. Leda Cummings
The Institute for Genomic Research
9712 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Dr. Cummings:
	I enthusiastically support your grant application to initiate
sequencing of the genome of Schistosoma mansoni. The schistosomiasis field
has been hampered by the lack of a genetic foundation for many studies. The
promise of genetic information that will contribute to new gene discovery,
genome organization, identification of microsatellite markers and markers
every 20,000 base pairs is exciting and important. This information will
help me in my own research which is  [eg. Vaccine development,
identification of signaling pathways, regulation of gene expression,
pathogenicity, population structure, population genetics etc. (DELETE
	I look forward to the time when the sequence of the entire genome
will be available to the research community.



David A. Johnston,
Secretary to the WHO Schistosoma Genome Network,
Biomedical Parasitology Division,
Dept. of Zoology,
The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, England, UK.


Tel: 020-7942-5566
Fax: 020-7942-5566 / 5518 / 5054
(from outside the UK: 44-20-7942 ****)


eMail daj at nhm.ac.uk


The  Biomedical Parasitology Division is a WHO Collaborating Centre for the
identification of schistosomes and their snail hosts.

PD Dr.Christoph G.Grevelding
Genetic Parasitology
Institute of Genetic &
Center for Biological and Medical Research
Universitaetsstrasse 1
40225 Duesseldorf

Fax :(49)-211-81-12333
e-mail: Christoph.Grevelding at uni-duesseldorf.de

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