The partnership which will form the International Cooperation to Sequence the Atlantic Salmon Genome (Cooperation) includes Genome British Columbia (BC), the Chilean Economic Development Agency, the Norwegian Research Council, and the Norwegian Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund.
Approximately US$6 million will be invested into the first phase of the project. Salmon product exports from Norway, Chile and Canada valued at US$3.4 billion, US$2.3 billion and US$0.6 billion, respectively in 2007.
It is expected the fully annotated salmon genome will provide important clues about the impact of cultured fish escapees on wild populations, conservation of populations at risk, strategies for combating pathogens, as well as allowing for more accurate assessments of the sustainability of aquatic environments.
Beckman Coulter Genomics, well known for their role in the sequencing of many high profile genomes, will complete phase one of the project, (worth approximately US$6 million,) by early 2011 and release the data as quickly as possible into the public domain.
“This research investment will result in an invaluable resource that can be used by any research group around the world,” says Dr. Sigbjørn Lien of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and the Cooperation’s Executive Science Committee.
Dr. Alejandro Maas of the University of Chile is also a member of the Executive Science Committee. “Through better understanding of this species, and its genome, this timely and strategic research collaboration will enable the growth and management of a global fishery,” he says.
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