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JGI and Diversa Corp. announce large-scale microbial sequencing collaboration

WALNUT CREEK, CA, and SAN DIEGO, CA The U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and Diversa Corporation (Nasdaq: DVSA) today announced a collaboration to discover and sequence novel microbial genomes found in a diverse range of unique habitats.

Under the collaboration, Diversa will use its proprietary technologies to extract DNA from environmental samples and make gene libraries, while JGI will perform DNA sequencing. All DNA sequence data from the collaboration will be provided to Diversa and deposited in GenBank within six months of the completion of sequencing to allow public access by scientists around the world.

"The microbial world is the next genomic frontier," said JGI Director Eddy Rubin, M.D., Ph.D. "The human genome has been sequenced, and now we're ready to tackle the larger and more complex challenge of sequencing microbial diversity."

"We believe the scientific, environmental, and commercial benefits from this project will be considerable," Rubin continued, "and we're pleased to be working with Diversa, a company that has clearly demonstrated leadership in legally and efficiently accessing the vast microbial diversity present in the environment."

"There are more genes in a handful of soil than in the entire human genome," said Jay M. Short, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Diversa. "At Diversa, we are committed to developing products from the rich genomic resource of uncultured microbes living in nearly every environment on earth. We believe that our sequencing collaboration with JGI will contribute greatly to our understanding and utilization of microbial genes."

Microbes, the oldest form of life on Earth, inhabit nearly every environment and can thrive under extreme conditions of heat, cold, pressure, and radiation. Although microbes represent the vast majority of life on the planet, more than 99% have not been cultured, and consequently their genomic diversity has been lar
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Contact: Charles Osolin
osolin1@llnl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
5-May-2003


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