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US National Pork Board Brings Home the Bacon for International Pig Genome Project

This article serves to correct a previous version, which contained factual errors about the names of the organizations involved and and their involvement in the seuencing and mapping efforts for the pig genome.


NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (GenomeWeb News) - The National Pork Board has allocated $500,000 of its 2005 budget to support an industry-wide effort to sequence the pig genome -- an effort that is just beginning to jell.


The NPB donation is the latest in a series of solicitations by the International Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium to support the back-end sequencing and initial framework, Max Rothschild, a professor of animal science at Iowa State University and coordinator of the project, told GenomeWeb News.


Initial gene identification and mapping efforts were supported in part by the National Animal Genome Research Program, an initiative of the US Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Rothschild said. The NAGRP has also supported the horse, sheep, cow, and chicken gene mapping initiatives.


The International Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium is chaired by University of Illinois professor Larry Schook.


So far, the International Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium has raised approximately $1.2 million, Rothschild said, with financial contributions from Iowa State University, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, and the National Pork Board, among others.


The international consortium now hopes to secure approximately $10 million to $15 million in additional funding from the USDA, with a matching amount likely to be contributed by the Sanger Institute, Rothschild said, where the rest of the sequencing effort would take place.


The University of Illinois; USDA; Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in France; Sanger Institute; and the Danish, Korean, and Chinese governments have all contributed to the efforts of the international consortium so far, Rothschild said.


The $500,000 gift from the NPB "is a display of committment from the pork industry in the US," Mark Boggess, director of animal science for the NPB, told GenomeWeb News.

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