NHGRI adds cow and dog to high priority list for sequencing model organisms

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 11, 2002 The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research has recommended adding the cow, the dog and the ciliate Oxytricha to the high-priority list of model organisms that should be considered for genome sequencing as capacity becomes available. Cow and dog join a growing group of high priority animals that includes chimpanzee, chicken and honeybee. Sequencing projects on the human, mouse and rat genomes are progressing rapidly, making sequencing capability supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) available soon for work on other organisms.

"The priority list is based on medical and biological opportunities," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "But it is not yet a commitment to sequence the genomes of these organisms."

Sequencing the cow, along with the honeybee and the chicken, is expected to speed up studies of these agriculturally important animals. The proposal to sequence the cow was submitted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University.

"I am delighted that NIH has decided to give high priority to sequencing the bovine genome," said Joseph Jen, Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Sequencing the bovine genes will help in the development of meat and dairy products that consumers want while maintaining and increasing the safety of our food supply. USDA looks forward to participating in the research."

The proposal to sequence the dog was submitted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research, Cambridge, Mass., and the Canine Genome Mapping Community, including researchers from a wide range of universities and institutions. The dog genome is expected to have medical benefits since dogs suffer many of the same di

Contact: Geoff Spencer
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

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