The value of a genome sequence for biomedical comparative and functional genomics research entirely depends on the quality and accessibility of its annotation and on having approved symbols for each gene. This proposal significantly addresses the fundamental problems preventing the optimal utilization of the chicken genome sequence for comparative biology and functional genomics studies. The chicken genome was sequenced by NIH in 2004 because the chicken is the foremost non-mammalian vertebrate biomedical model organism and it is a principal biomedical model for understanding basic biology, behavior and disease. It is the de-facto model bird genome, it occupies a unique and important evolutionary niche and has proven invaluable for the rapid annotation of the songbird genome (also funded by NIH). The chicken is an important model for comparative and evolutionary genomics. Chicken research has made seminal contributions to biomedicine. However, the chicken genome lacks comprehensive experimental-annotation and standardized gene symbols are not consistently used. This lack of experimental-annotation significantly prevents researchers from exploiting the full potential of the chicken genome model system for comparative and functional genomic studies. We will integrate high-throughput experimental data with standardized gene symbols and Gene Ontology functional-annotation. Our experimental-annotation will be a significant step towards fulfilling the research community need for a more comprehensively-annotated avian genome sequence. We will also provide computational tools for using this information in and easy and accessible way for the biomedical research community on our pre-existing web site.
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