Notes about the Ruminant Genome Biology Consortium

Summary Notes from the meeting to canvass interest in the formation of a Ruminant Genome Biology Consortium – Edinburgh 27 July 2010

More than 65 interested scientists attended the meeting with apologies from a further 10 who advised before the meeting that they were interested but unable to attend.

There was overwhelming support for the formation of an interest group / consortium to work across the ruminant species. A model where the Ruminant Genome Biology Consortium (RGBC) deals primarily with the across species issues and provides a forum for the different ruminant species groups to interact was preferred. There are many things that the group felt a RGBC could do, including:-

1.  Act as advocate for the ruminants including multi stomached, even toed ungulates in initiatives such as the 10k Genomes project (

a.    This could include providing advice as to which species to sequence, managing the collection and storage of DNA and dissemination to sequencing centres, data handling and analysis


2.    Provide a forum to enable across species development of resources perhaps including a common reference panel of animals


3.    Access to expertise to assist those working in the field make more effective use of the data collected


4.    Facilitate training in methods of analysis relevant to the goals of RGBC participants


5.    Set standards for data quality and analysis


6.    Provide a forum for comparative phenomics and genomics of ruminants


a.    Transfer expertise on phenotyping to take maximum advantage of the opportunity presented by the sequencing projects.

b.    Facilitate, across and within species comparisons of genome basis of disease resistance



Some possible guiding “principles” for the Consortium.


Without being prescriptive in any way we suggest the following ideas for your consideration and discussion.


Mission and Scope:

The intent of the Consortium will be to increase the genomic tools and information publically available for ruminant species generally, and to foster a community in which these may be shared and used for the benefit of all.



Consortium membership will be open to anyone interested in ruminant genome research. It is anticipated that members of the Consortium will collaborate on research to accomplish the common goals of the members of the Consortium.



The Consortium can provide no operating funds in its own right. We anticipate that funds will be derived by members from their own resources. However, we anticipate that the Consortium can assist members in making applications for funds by providing linkages to collaborations between members working on complementary problems.


Data Policy:

All data generated within the Consortium will be released into the public domain.  The data may be kept within the Consortium until the development of a manuscript is complete, or only for a very limited time if specified by a funding agreement.



Several venues will be developed for distributing tools and resources generated from the Consortium.  Initially these will be presented on this website.


Key personnel:

Nobody has any role in the Consortium at present (the Consortium doesn’t exist yet). Wen Wang and myself have initiated the process, but have no expectations of continuing in any role. It is up to the consortium to determine how it will work and who will co-ordinate any activities. It is anticipated that the details and purpose of the Consortium will change over time and associated functions and people having a “leadership” role will evolve with developments within the Consortium and elsewhere.





Hutton Oddy

University of New England, Armidale, Australia




Wen Wang

Kunming Institute of Zoology, Shenzhen, China

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