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NHGRI Releases Six High Priority Organisms for Sequencing

NEW YORK, May 22 - The National Human Genome Research has picked six "high-priority" organisms to sequence next.


The genomes of the chicken, the chimpanzee, various strains of fungi, the honey bee, the sea urchin, and the eukaryotic protist Tetrahymena thermophila have been tapped to follow the nearly completed human, mouse, and rat sequences. The protozoan Oxytricha trifallax and the rhesus macaque were labeled "moderate-priority" organisms. The cow, alas, was a no-show. 


The widely expected decision by NHGRI's GRASPP arm outlines and prioritizes those genomes that will be privy to the NHGRI's $155 million annual sequencing budget. That funding currently supports large-scale sequencing projects at the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research; the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine; and the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine.


GRASPP's choices and the white papers that went into them are outlined on NHGRI's website. The decisions, approved during a meeting of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research on Monday, do not mean that new large-scale sequencing projects will begin any time soon, the NHGRI said in a statement. Rather, the list represents "a pool of candidate[s] on which the institute-supported sequencing centers can choose to begin working as capacity becomes available," it said.


First, though, potential sequencing centers must be approved by the NHGRI, which will post on its website when a center has begun a project.

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