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Genome White Paper

Thom Kaufman kaufman at bio.indiana.edu
Mon May 19 13:43:54 EST 2003


Dear Colleagues,

The availability of genome sequences from both D. melanogaster and D.
pseudoobscura has proven to be an outstanding resource for Drosophila 
biologists, as
evidenced by the rapid increase in the number of investigators who are 
now exploiting
sequence information from these two species for comparative studies.  
The future is
even more promising as the genomes from many diverse organisms are being
considered as new targets for genome projects by various funding 
agencies.   Given the
depth and breadth of studies on Drosophila, and the genetic and 
molecular tools
available to us as Drosophila researchers, it is clear that there is 
much to be gained by
sequencing more than two Drosophila species. It is also clear that the 
time is ripe to
make our case for the enormous power of Drosophila as a paradigm for 
comparative
genomics.

This spring, the Drosophila Board recognized the need to act on behalf 
of the
Drosophila research community to inform the research community-at-large 
of
importance of sequencing additional Drosophila species.  We also 
recognized the need
to carefully consider which species should rank as highest priorities.  
We decided to
gather a group of expert colleagues, who would collectively represent 
ecological,
population, evolutionary and developmental biology, statistical and 
bioinformatics
perspectives, to discuss these issues.  We held that meeting in Tucson 
at the end of
April.

As a result of this meeting, a White Paper with a proposal for 
sequencing multiple
species of Drosophila has been prepared by the participants of the 
meeting.  We have
been informed that it is in our best interest to meet the June 10th 
deadline for submission
of this proposal for consideration by the NIH-NHGRI.   It is absolutely 
CRITICAL that we
have wide and strong community input in order for this proposal to be 
considered by NIH
as meeting the needs of the research community.   We are now asking for 
your input
and must have all comments BY May 31st in order to consider them.  We 
have proposed
an ambitious plan but did so because of the outstanding biological 
rationale and our
confidence that the information gained from having sequence information 
from the
selected species of the Drosophila will provide insight into 
essentially all areas of
modern biology.

Please read this Comparative Genomics of Drosophila White Paper at the 
following site
within Fly Base:

URL: http://flybase.org/.data/news/announcements/WhitePaperInfo.html

We must have your comments, letters of support and a short paragraph on 
how your
research efforts might benefit from the proposed project BY MAY 31st .

PLEASE E-MAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO:  FlyBaseP at flybase.org

Your comments will be provided to the NIH, along with the White Paper.  
Again, we
cannot emphasize strongly enough how important your response to this 
request is.

Sincerely,

The Participants of the Tucson Meeting and Contributors to the White 
Paper.

Andy Clark, Greg Gibson, Thom Kaufman, Gene Meyers, Patrick O'Grady,  
Teri
Markow, Michael Ashburner, Susan Celniker, Bill Gelbart, Chuck Langley, 
Bryant
McAllister, Jeff Powell, Sudhir Kumar, Margaret Kidwell, Fringie 
Richards and David
Stern, and Barbara Wakimoto

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