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NHGRI Announces 12 New Organisms to be Sequenced; Primate, Sea Slug, Insects on List

NEW YORK, March 1 (GenomeWeb News) - Twelve new organisms will be sequenced by the five centers that are part of the Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute, NHGRI said today.


The following species were selected for sequencing:


  • The marmoset, Callithrix jacchus, a primate used in neurobiological studies of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, and a model for infectious disease and pharmacology research;
  • a skate, Raja erinacea, which belongs to the first group of primitive vertebrates that developed jaws;
  • a sea slug, Aplysia californica,  which has been a model of studying learning and memory in humans;
  • Rhodnius prolixus, an insect that spreads Chagas' disease, which affects 20 million people in South America each year;
  • a pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, an insect which causes hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage each year;
  • the parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis, a natural enemy of houseflies, a genetic model for parasitoids that control pest populations, and two related wasp species, N. giraulti and N. longicornis;
  • a free-living soil amoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii; and
  • three fungi -- Schizosaccharomyces octosporus, S. japonicus, and Batrachochytridium dendrobatidis

In addition, 280,000 SNPs will be identified in eight rat strains.


The five centers are Agencourt Bioscience, Baylor College of Medicine, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the J. Craig Venter Science Institute, and Washington University School of Medicine.

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