Forum Topic: Cassava Genomics Competition

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Cassava Genomics Competition

Announcement and discussion about the Cassava Genomics Competition

This topic was started by Steve Rounsley.
Posted by Steve Rounsley on 2012-03-21 17:28:51
Dear Friends of Cassava,

At the recent Plant and Animal Genome (PAG) conference in San Diego, we were fortunate to have a series of cassava breakfasts hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These breakfasts were a great opportunity for sharing experiences between a very diverse group of scientists. Given the genomics focus of the conference, there were a significant number of discussions around how to apply the power of genomics to practical problems in cassava research and breeding. Since the conference, we have continued these discussions and as a result we are happy to announce a small competition to stimulate and accelerate work in this area.

Join Us In Using The Genome:

Plant genetics and breeding is all about harnessing variation, and today's tools can reveal variation with great precision and resolution for increasingly low costs. One of the goals of our BMGF grant between the University of Arizona and UC Berkeley was to demonstrate and apply the power of genomic techniques with a single example - mapping CBSD tolerance QTL in Namikonga. This work is ongoing, but the reduction in sequencing costs means we can do more. We are announcing a competition in which we will use our BMGF budget for your project! Do you have cassava lines you want to see sequenced? Do you have a biparental mapping population for an interesting trait ready to go? All we are asking for is a brief (1-2 paragraphs) proposal for projects that would use cassava genomics - sequencing and/or analysis. Be sure to tell us how many cassava samples you have, and when you will have access to them.

In addition to having your samples sequenced and/or analyzed at no new cost, scientists who submit winning project ideas will be invited by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to participate in cassava discussion meetings organized alongside the 12-16 January, 2013 PAG conference in San Diego, including coach class travel to San Diego and accommodation expenses for one winning scientist per selected proposal: this can be a scientist at any level and should be the person who writes and emails in the 1-2 paragraph proposal, organizes shipment of samples for sequencing, and is ready to present their results in January 2013.

We hope that describing your idea and the results from using the cassava genome at both the GCP21 meeting in June 2012 and at PAG in January 2013 will inspire others to join us in using the genome and delivering benefits to current and future cassava farmers!

Proposals are due by April 15th, emailed to We'll announce the projects selected at the GCP21 meeting in Uganda in June…..see you there!

Steve Rounsley, Simon Prochnik, Dan Rokhsar

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