During a plenary session on Monday morning, Stanford University’s Carlos Bustamante discussed the need to include more diverse populations in GWAS and sequencing projects. He noted that 96 percent of researcher participants thus far have been of European descent. His lab has been working on a number of projects to study local ancestry and sequence admixed populations. Next, Robert Williams from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center discussed ‘genetical genomics,’ and highlighted tools to use for such, including the GeneNetwork system.
That afternoon, a number of vendors and others held workshops. At Life Technologies’ workshop, Monsanto’s Todd Michael described using the Ion PGM system to study the genome and transcriptome of the succulent Sedum album under drought conditions, while Adi Ramon from SG Biofuels discussed the potential Jatropha curcas holds as an oilseed feedstock. Later, at the BGI workshop, the University of California, Davis’ Richard Michelmore presented on the latest efforts to sequence the lettuce genome, and Rajeev Varshney from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics talked about work on the chickpea genome.