SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
16 April 2015
Volume 16 Issue 4
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Invitation to join the i5K Initiative to Sequence Anthropod Genomes

Helen Poynton, University of Massachusetts and Dave Spurgeon, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

SETAC members are invited to participate in a survey to nominate ecotoxciologically relevant arthropod species for genome sequencing. Many of you are probably aware of the i5k initiative to sequence 5,000 arthropod genomes over the next five years. The whole process is extremely collaborative and all data generated is immediately made publically available as it goes through the assembly, annotation and integration with a genome browser pipelines.

The EVOGENERATE working group, a subset of the SETAC Ecological Risk Assessment Advisory Group, approached the i5k consortium to see if they would be interested in considering an “ecotox” list that was compiled by the diverse membership of SETAC.  They responded very positively, suggesting that SETAC should name at least 30 different species and put together a white paper justifying the selection and noting any genomic or transcriptomic resources that might be available.  This would also help prioritize any species that may already be among the 900 nominated.

We are now in the second step of the process to get the SETAC community involved. We first generated a potential list of species by inviting EVOGENERATE and other SETAC members to suggest species for genome sequencing. We then compiled the list of species and determined if any genomic or transcriptomic resources existed for those species. We are now inviting the larger ecotoxicology community to vote on this initial species list by participating in our survey. We have received requests to include additional species outside of the phylum Arthropoda, but because the white paper will be presented to the i5k consortium, all our nominated species must be arthropods.

This effort will be conducted through the i5k initiative, and the results of the survey will help us select 30 species to include in a white paper submitted to i5k, focusing on the needs of the ecotoxicology community. Please participate and also forward this article to other scientists and students who may be interested in this process.  The survey will close soon, so please participate today!

Authors’ contact information: dasp@ceh.ac.uk and Helen.poynton@umb.edu

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