[Coral-List] dinoflagellate Symbiodinium genome

Tom Doak tdoak at Princeton.EDU
Sat Aug 9 21:26:40 EDT 2003

Dear Colleagues,

We've been working for the last few months to craft a white paper 
proposal to sequence the genome of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium. 
The proposal is to be submitted to the National Health Genome 
Research Institute (NHGRI) as part of their ongoing effort to 
prioritize organisms for complete genomic sequencing 
(<http://www.genome.gov/10001843>). The next NHGRI dead-line for 
submission is October 10.
We have contacted a number of you already, as technical questions 
have arisen. Now we are passing around the current draft of the 
proposal for community comment. The strength of a NHGRI proposal 
rests in large part on the enthusiasm and support of the community 
that will use the genomic data. The data will be entirely public, a 
condition of the NHGRI program, and help will be sought in annotating 
the sequences as they appear.

The Symbiodinium proposal is available as a PDF at 

A couple of words about ourselves are in order. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg 
(University of Queensland, AU) has his primary interests in coral 
bleaching, and the complex interactions between coral and symbiont 
that are involved. Bob Moore is completing a PhD in "Symbiodinium 
biology" with Dee Carter (University of Sydney, AU), and will soon 
move on to a postdoctoral position in John Logsdon's lab (University 
of Iowa). Tom Doak (University of Utah, soon to be at Princeton) has 
promoted the Oxytricha trifallax (ciliate) genome project and has a 
general interest in alveolate evolution.

Aside from any general comments, corrections, and suggestions you may 
have for us (remember, there is a 10 page limit and we are over that 
now), we have a few particular needs.
*  We are trying to catalog all planned or on-going dinoflagellate 
EST-or comparable-projects.  We believe that any such project will be 
helped by a single compete dinoflagellate genome project.
*  We would like to hear from any dinoflagellate lab that already has 
a bioinformatics component, and so would be immediately placed to use 
the genomic sequence.
* Successful whitepapers are reliant on strong letters of support. If 
you would be willing to write a letter of support, please send us a 
brief synopsis of what you would like to contribute. We will actually 
have to pick and choose letters that we think will particularly 
help-not a large number of letters can be submitted.  The purpose of 
the letters is two-fold: to prove that there is significant need and 
enthusiasm for the sequence, but also to put forth salient arguments 
that we haven't had room to make strongly in the white paper. Issues 
bearing on human health are particularly welcome: this is a NIH 
* A difficult aspect of proposals such as this, is deciding on and 
arguing for a single species, to represent an entire phylum of 
diverse and important species. Two of us are Symbiodinium workers, 
but we feel that we have made legitimate arguments for why 
Symbiodinium should be the first-not the only-dinoflagellate 
sequenced. While this can become a divisive issue, we hope that the 
dinoflagellate community will reach agreement.

We have been rushing to have this out before the Halifax congress on 
symbiosis. We realize that this meeting is not generally 
representative of dinoflagellate workers (we wish we had been 
collected enough to get to the Oregon phycology meeting this summer, 
but we weren't), but for those who will be there, Ove and Tom will be 
in attendance and more than happy to talk about the project.
We apologize that some of you have received this mailing multiple 
times; we are trying to assure a broad distribution.
While any three of us would be happy to correspond with any of you, 
Tom is acting as the primary coordinator of the project.

Yours truly,

Tom Doak	<tdoak at princeton.edu>
Bob Moore	<rmoo5270 at mail.usyd.edu.au>
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg	<OveH at uq.edu.au>

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