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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 4 (2003), Issue 2, Pages 271-274
Conference review

USDA Stakeholder Workshop on Animal Bioinformatics: Summary and Recommendations

1USDA-CSREES: (First Class Mail) 1400 Independence Ave, SW; Stop 2220, Washington 20250-2220, DC, USA
2USDA-CSREES: (Overnight Mail), Room 3441, Waterfront Centre, 800 9th St. SW, Washington 20024, DC, USA
3Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-2471, TX, USA

Received 29 January 2003; Revised 31 January 2003; Accepted 31 January 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An electronic workshop was conducted on 4 November–13 December 2002 to discuss current issues and needs in animal bioinformatics. The electronic (e-mail listserver) format was chosen to provide a relatively speedy process that is broad in scope, cost-efficient and easily accessible to all participants. Approximately 40 panelists with diverse species and discipline expertise communicated through the panel e-mail listserver. The panel included scientists from academia, industry and government, in the USA, Australia and the UK. A second ‘stakeholder’ e-mail listserver was used to obtain input from a broad audience with general interests in animal genomics. The objectives of the electronic workshop were: (a) to define priorities for animal genome database development; and (b) to recommend ways in which the USDA could provide leadership in the area of animal genome database development. E-mail messages from panelists and stakeholders are archived at Priorities defined for animal genome database development included: (a) data repository; (b) tools for genome analysis; (c) annotation; (d) practical application of genomic data; and (e) a biological framework for DNA sequence. A stable source of funding, such as the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), was recommended to support maintenance of data repositories and data curation. Continued support for competitive grants programs within the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) was recommended for tool development and hypothesis-driven research projects in genome analysis. Additional stakeholder input will be required to continuously refine priorities and maximize the use of limited resources for animal bioinformatics within the USDA.