EMBL’s Ewan Birney spoke yesterday morning at PAG in San Diego. He is gearing up for the launch of Ensembl Genomes next month. The first groups of organisms to be included in these new databases will be EnsemblMetazoa, EnsemblProtists, and EnsemblBacteria. Then, next quarter, EnsemblPlants, including rice and Arabidopsis, and EnsemblFungi, with Cerevisiae and perhaps Aspergillus, will join the fray. “We are really actively looking for collaborators for EnsemblGenomes,” Birney said.
Following Birney on the podium was Iowa State’s Jonathan Wendel who, as James Ressey who introduced him put it, studies cotton in a sea of corn and soybean. Wendel discussed when the various strains of cotton arose, the four that were domesticated, and how cotton can serve as a model of polyploidy.