Postgenomic Resources for C. briggsae: Building a Model for Comparative Genetics

Organizer: Eric Haag, University of Maryland

Overview: The genome sequence of C. briggsae has become a routine and invaluable tool for the C. elegans research community, allowing more accurate gene annotation and shedding light on genome evolution. But a growing group of researchers is intensely studying C. briggsae itself with both forward and reverse genetic methods. This research is often motivated by a desire to determine the generality of C. elegans biology or to understand mechanisms of interspecies divergence. However, C. briggsae also offers greater molecular and anatomical intraspecific variation than does C. elegans, making it a potentially important system in its own right for genotype-phenotype association studies. These interests have led a number of researchers to start development of genetic tools that would enable rapid positional cloning of mutants, rational strain construction, and quantitative trait mapping. Examples include high-density linkage maps of DNA polymorphisms, knockout strains, useful phenotypic markers, etc. In this workshop, several of these researchers will share their progress on bringing various techniques to C. briggsae research. The C. briggsae Advisory Committee will also describe its plan for an NIH-funded genetics resource that would benefit all researchers. A discussion at the end of the workshop will allow others to share their experiences and help guide future plans.

Likely speakers and topics:

I. Introduction

Bob Waterston or Lincoln Stein: Status report on the genome assembly. (5 minutes)

Karin Kiontke or Dave Fitch: Phylogenetic placement of briggsae and its implications. (5 minutes)

Scott Baird: An introduction to inter-strain differences in C. briggsae, how this differs from C. elegans, and why this is useful. (10 minutes)

II. Overview of the recently submitted briggsae genetics resource proposal

Bhagwati Gupta: Status report on map of existing mutants and quick overview of major goals for funded resource (preliminary recombination map, mapping of phenotypic markers, mutant mapping service, and WormBase integration). (10 minutes)

Ray Miller: Preliminary molecular marker map, goals for new map, description of how the genotyping service would work, what technology would be used, etc. (5 minutes)

III. Functional genomics

Eric Haag: Deletion screening. (5 minutes)

Marie-Anne Felix and Karen Yook, Hodgkin Lab: Mos mutagenesis. (5 minutes)

Helen Chamberlin: Transgenics. (5 minutes)

IV: Group discussion (30 minutes total)

Topics might include:

-Nomenclature for briggsae genes.

-Can we get moving on mapping resources before funding comes through?

-Are people amenable to user fees?