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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, May 1993; 5(1)

Sixth International Mouse Genome Conference

The Sixth International Mouse Genome Conference was held in October 1992 in Buffalo, New York. Substantial progress was reported toward (1) the production of a very high density genetic map and (2) physical mapping in chromosome regions having a large number of genetic markers. Some meeting highlights follow.

Genetic Mapping

Eric Lander reported the mapping of more than 1000 microsatellites toward a 2- to 3-year target of 6000 at the Whitehead-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) genome center. Neal Copeland [National Cancer Institute (NCI)] noted that 1000 genes had been mapped, integrating a number of microsatellites from Lander. Michael Seldin (Duke University Medical Center) reported the mapping of 500 markers across the mouse genome. Restriction landmark genome scanning reported by Yoshihide Hayashizaki (RIKEN Tsukuba Life Science Center, Japan) has also added a large number of new loci to the genetic map.

The target of producing a marker every 1 cM or less is close to being achieved. A 1000-animal C57BL/6-spretus backcross, the European Collaborative Interspecific Backcross (EUCIB), is being conducted at the U.K. Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Center and the Pasteur Institute of Paris. This backcross provides genetic resolution of 0.3 cM at the 95% probability level and will contribute to construction of yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) contig maps based on sequence tagged sites (STSs).

Uses of the Mouse Genetic Map

Increases in mapped genetic markers across the mouse genome have stimulated investigations in analyzing multifactorial traits and identifying candidate genes for mouse or human mutations. Reports by Phil Avner (Pasteur Institute), Mazakasu Hattori (Harvard Medical School), and Jan Prins (Oxford University) emphasized continued interest in loci that predispose to Type I diabetes; different loci are revealed in mouse crosses of varying genetic backgrounds. The advantages of a dense microsatellite map of the mouse were further illustrated by the genetic analysis of modifying loci for Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (Bill Dietrich, MIT). Nancy Jenkins (NCI, Frederick) reported mapping a maternally imprinted gene for a small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP). This gene maps to a mouse chromosome 7 region homologous to a region of human chromosome 15q11-13 implicated in Prader-Willi syndrome.

Physical Mapping

With the increased density of mapped markers across the mouse genome, efforts are now under way to create STS-based YAC contig maps of some chromosome regions. Kent Hunter (MIT) reported progress on distal chromosome 1, as did Gail Herman (Baylor College of Medicine) on the X chromosome. She has constructed a 2.5-Mb contig spanning the bare patches (Bpa) locus-a putative homologue to Chondrodysplasia punctata on the human X chromosome. Efforts to assemble chromosome 17 YAC contigs in the regions of the t lub2 deletion (Roni Bollag, Princeton University) and qk mutation [Roger Cox, Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF)] were also discussed.

Aiding these efforts has been the availability of mouse YAC libraries from Princeton University, ICRF, and St. Mary's Hospital Medical School. Completion of the high-density mouse genetic map and improvement of YAC library resources will enable researchers to begin a concerted effort toward a complete STS-based YAC contig map in about 2 years.

Positional Cloning of Mouse Mutations

Mapping and characterizing mouse mutations are important to understanding human development and disease processes. Jeff Friedman (Rockefeller University) reported substantial progress in defining YAC clones carrying the mouse obese (ob) gene. Physical mapping is proceeding toward identifying genes involved in pivotal stages of development, including gastrulation (Bernadette Holdener-Kenny, Case Western Reserve University) and skeletal development-the fused locus (Janice Rossi, Princeton University).

Progress toward a fully integrated mouse genome database was reported by the Jackson Laboratory. A number of presentations reviewed improved software tools for constructing genetic maps.

Reported by Steve Brown St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, London


The Seventh International Mouse Genome Conference will be held November 7-11, 1993 in Hamamatsu, Japan. Contact: Kazuo Moriwaki; Department of Cell Genetics; National Institute of Genetics; Yata 1111 Mishima; Shizuoka-ken 411, Japan (Int. 81-559/75-0771, Fax: -6240).


Chromosome committee reports detailing loci and maps for each mouse chromosome are available as a special volume ofMammalian Genome [3(8), S1-294 (July 1992)].


The addition of 237 polymorphic mouse markers from the 1992 mouse conference brings to 988 the number of markers available under the tradename MapPairs. Each marker consists of two PCR primers mapped to a specific location in the mouse chromosome and capable of being run under identical PCR conditions. [Research Genetics; 2130 Memorial Parkway SW; Huntsville, AL 35801 (800/533-4363, Fax: 205/536-9016).]


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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v5n1).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.