axolotl as a model organism for sequencing?

Richard Gordon gordonr at Ms.UManitoba.CA
Tue Nov 14 13:14:22 EST 2000

I am not into sequencing DNA myself, but had heard second hand that a 
call was being made for new model organisms to sequence. Apparently 
there is a desire that the huge array of equipment leashed on the 
human genome not stand idle, as that task winds down. Figuring that 
the enormous axolotl genome (second only to lungfish) should keep the 
sequencers busy for a while, I made a few enquiries. Dr. 
Marvin.Stodolsky has given me a thorough reply, which I thought might 
be of some value to those of you who might wish to pursue the matter. 
It is reproduced here with his permission.
Yours, -Dick Gordon

Dear Marvin,
At URL it says that 
one goal is to "Identify other useful model organisms and support 
appropriate genomic studies". Does that fall within your office, or 
should I be talking with someone else? Thanks.
Yours, -Dick

>X-Server-Uuid: 0bf4d294-faec-11d1-a39a-0008c7246279
>From: "Stodolsky, Marvin" <Marvin.Stodolsky at>
>To: "'Richard Gordon'" <gordonr at Ms.UManitoba.CA>
>cc: "'thawkins at'" <thawkins at>,
>         "Patrinos, Ari" <Ari.Patrinos at>
>Subject: RE: axolotl as a model organism
>Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 09:21:02 -0500
>X-WSS-ID: 160F95C5328663-01-01
>You are properly citing Text from F. Collins, Ari Patrinos, et al., "New
>Goals for the U.S. Human Genome Project: 1998-2003," Science 282: 682-689
>This represents the joint formulation of the HGP 5 year plan update. However
>the particular model organisms chosen still have to be justifiable under the
>"missions" allowed by the different Congressional Committees controlling our
>funding.  This Office seeks the guidance of relevant scientists in the field
>as to which organisms are most meritorious at any particular time, and this
>advice has to be blended against the constraints of our missions and budget
>To me, axolotl would be a superb model for wound healing and limb
>regeneration, but it this does not manifestly fall within the current
>Missions of this Office.  These issues are much more related in the US to
>the NIH missions &  and
>perhaps those of the military in treating battlefield
>trauma. Additionally, it might be worth querying the Howard Hughes Medical
>Institute and the NSF Developmental Biology
> programs.
>Again, the capabilities of our DOE JGI will be
>available for (at cost) sequencing and other high throughput biology in the
>future.  But this Office simple does not have the budget to itself support a
>broad array of genome projects.  This years budget in the Genome sector is
>essentially fully committed, though Sept. 2001.
>Incidentally since our first email exchange, Trevor Hawkins
>(thawkins at has replaced Elbert Branscomb as JGI Director.  While I
>do have substantial responsibilites within the model organism sector of this
>Office, I am copying this response to Trevor Hawkins and OBER Director Ari
>Patrinos, in case they should have futher suggestions for you.
>Marvin Stodolsky, Ph.D
>  US Dept. of Energy
>   Office of Science
>    Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER)
>     Life Sciences Division, SC-72
>     Genome Program Task Group
>19901 Germantown Rd, Germantown, MD  20874-1290, USA
>Email- Marvin.Stodolsky at
>  301-903-4475 telephone
>         -8521 fax
>         -6488 secretary Joanne Corcoran

Dr. Richard Gordon, Radiology
University of Manitoba, HSC Rm. GA216, 820 Sherbrook St.
Winnipeg R3A 1R9 Canada
phone:(204)789-3828, fax:(204)787-2080, e-mail: GordonR at
New book: The Hierarchical Genome & Differentiation Waves: Novel 
Unification of Development, Genetics & Evolution:
Adjunct: Electrical & Computer Engineering, Exec Member: CSTB, CARRF, 


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