University of Minnesota, Virgina Tech awarded USDA grant to complete sequencing of turkey genome
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a two-year, $908,280 grant to the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech to complete sequencing the genome of the domesticated turkey, Meleagris gallopavo. The funding will be used by the Turkey Genome Sequencing Consortium to complete the genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing platforms, assemble the genome sequence, and identify genes and functions in the final genome sequence by use of a sophisticated annotation pipeline. The award will also help put in place a bioinformatics and comparative genome resource for both chicken and turkey.
The consortium, which includes Kent Reed, associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, announced the turkey sequencing project nearly a year ago. So far, they have generated about 90 percent of the sequence necessary for the project. The data will reportedly be released to GenBank in the near future.
Turkey is the fourth most economically important source of meat for consumers in the United States. The genome sequence and genomic resources should provide turkey breeders with the tools needed to improve commercial breeds of turkey for production traits such as meat yield and quality, health and disease resistance, and fertility and reproduction.
For more information, visit www.genomeweb.com/sequencing/turkey-genome-sequencing-consortium-members-nab-usda-funding