The provisional Aspergillus Comparative Genomics Committee was formed at the Aspergillus workshop (3/23/03) at the 22nd Fungal Genetics Conference at Asilomar, CA.
Approximately 50 researchers attended the session organized by Steve Osmani and Ralph Dean. After hearing updates on the sequencing projects in Aspergillus species we had an open discussion moderated by Ralph. The first priorities identified by the group were: (1) to finish sequencing and annotation and (2) to set up a regular meeting to coordinate community efforts. Other topics discussed to address later included writing grants to fund functional genomics approaches (microarrays, knockout collections, protein analysis, etc).
A major theme of the discussion was the advantage of including several Aspergillus species in annotation and later analysis. Using several species will allow for a better final genome sequence and should also allow important evolutionary questions to be addressed. It was agreed that the inclusion of multiple Aspergillus species is a huge advantage that we can leverage to get the most out of our genome analysis.
A provisional Aspergillus Genome Policy Committee with representatives from all species covered in the session was nominated and agreed upon by those in attendance. It was also suggested that eventually separate working groups should be formed for each Aspergillus species. The members of the provisional Aspergillus Genome Policy Committee were David Denning (A. fumigatus), Steve Osmani (A. nidulans), Michelle Momany (A. nidulans), Jiujiang Yu (A. flavus), Masayuki Machida (A. oryzae), and Marco Van Den Berg (A. niger).