International Mammalian Genome Society

The 16th International Mouse Genome Conference (2002)


PLENARY PRESENTATION

SUNDAY 17 NOVEMBER

15:30 16:00 HRS

CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO EXTRACT FUNCTION FROM THE MOUSE GENOME

A Bradley
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

An analysis of first draft of the human genome sequence was published this year. Comparison of this sequence with ESTs and genomic sequence from other organisms is helping to annotate this raw sequence. From this analysis greater than 30,000 genes have been identified, yet only a small proportion of these genes have been examined experimentally. By the end of 2001, a whole genome shot gun assembly of the mouse genome anchored to BAC ends on a deep BAC map will also be available in the public domain (http://mouse.ensembl.org) and this reference sequence will greatly facilitate experimental analysis of role of every gene. The mouse has become a standard organism for experimentally investigating gene function. This reflects anatomical, physiological and genome similarities with humans. Mice offer significant experimental opportunities because of the ease with which mutants can be generated using embryonic stem cell technology. Knockout mice enable the analysis of gene function, one gene at a time. Using the Cre-loxP recombination system, we have established a series of larger modifications in mice. Given the high gene density & conserved linkage of human chromosome 17 with mouse chromosome 11 we have selected this chromosome as our primary target for physical and functional analyses. A series of coat color tagged deletions and balancer chromosomes have been generated which span chromosome 11 . In combination with ENU mutagenesis the deletions establish regions of haploidy over short regions while the balancer chromosomes facilitate the analysis of large regions of the genome. These genetic tools are enabling large scale recessive screens in mice.


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