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Zebrafish Gene Collection Project Summary

Background
At the April 2002 meeting of zebrafish researchers at the NIH, a full-length cDNA project was considered the top priority for NIH funding. Consequently, the Zebrafish Gene Collection (ZGC) was launched in August 2002, as a subproject of the existing Mammalian Gene Collection project. The general approach is to acquire or construct high-quality cDNA libraries, screen the libraries by sequencing the 5' end of clones, identify putative full open reading frame clones, and then carry out full-length sequencing of the selected clones.
Project Management
The ZGC will modify the MGC's procedures slightly. Instead of selecting clones on a continuous basis, the ZGC will be a phased project:
  • Initially, the ZGC will collect 5' sequences from clones in various libraries over a 3-month period.
  • At the end of that time, an external panel of scientists will review the list of all the putative full-length clones eligible for full-length sequencing and prioritize those for sequencing.
  • This process will then be repeated quarterly.
  • In addition, the ZGC will collaborate with other researchers who have significant existing collections of putative full-length clones to sequence those clones.
ZGC Applications
As part of the zebrafish genome project, a collection of full-length cDNAs has many potential applications, such as:
  • Enumerating the genes, improving the accuracy of gene identification, and annotating other genomes.
  • Allowing genetic manipulations such as complementation tests or over expression analysis.
  • Providing information about the 5' untranslated or AUG regions of genes for construction of morpholinos, the primary tool for gene expression "knockdown" in zebrafish.
  • Providing an invaluable reagent for any researcher studying a particular gene or developing arrays or other tools to study multiple genes.

All materials produced by the ZGC, including libraries, ESTs, and full-length clones are publicly available resources.