On October 19 a group of E. histolytica investigators met with scientists from The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) to discuss sequencing the E. histolytica genome (see photograph). This group included Alok Bhattacharya, Graham Clark, Buddy Diamond, Michael Duchêne, Dan Eichinger, Elisabeth Labruyere, Barbara Mann, Aldofo Martínez-Palomo, Esther Orozco, Bill Petri, John Samuelson, Egbert Tannich, with Najib El-Sayed, a TIGR representative, and Alex Fairchild, a NIH representative, also in attendance. There was enthusiastic support for the genome project. A consensus agreement was reached to submit an R01 application to the National Institutes of Health for TIGR to sequence the E. histolytica genome.
Some of the specific decisions which have been made are the following:
There was general agreement that the genome of the HM-1 strain of E. histolytica, supplied by Buddy Diamond, will be sequenced by a shotgun approach. TIGR estimates that they will be able to sequence at least 95% of the genome with a three fold coverage in three years. The major goal of this project will be gene discovery. Since the ultimate goal is the entire amebic genome, a cooperative approach with other centers will be important for obtaining additional sequence in a timely fashion.
An executive committee of the Entamoeba genome project will be formed. This committee will represent another group of about 40 leading scientists in this field from around the world, who will write letters of support for an NIH grant.
Our goal will be to submit a grant to the NIH for February 1, 1999. Najib El-Sayed will be the principal investigator. Barbara Mann and John Samuelson will be responsible for the background and significance and preliminary data. This grant could be used as a template for other grants, the goals of which would be to add sequences to those performed at TIGR. TIGR would be headquarters for the analysis and assembly of sequences. Sequences will be made available made public on a regular basis thorough a website.
This project will benefit all in the field and will fundamentally change the way we approach research problems. The support of the E. histolytica community is very important for this project to succeed. Every dollar received from NIH will go to TIGR to fund the sequencing effort. This policy will ensure that all E. histolytica investigators will have equal access to all of the sequence information that is generated, and that everyone will see the data at the same time.
If you would like to send a letter of support you may email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to me at the address below
If you have any questions or comments please contact me at email@example.com or John Samuelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara J. Mann, Ph.D.
Dept of Int. Med/ Div. Inf Dis.
MR4 Bldg, Room 2115
Charlottesville, VA 22908
FAX : 804-924-0075