OPPORTUNITY TO PROPOSE ORGANISMS FOR BAC LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION

Release Date:  December 19, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-HG-02-004

National Human Genome Research Institute

Annual Submission Dates:  February 10, June 10 and October 10

Over the past several years, the bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) has 
emerged as the vector system of choice for the construction of the large-
insert chromosomal DNA libraries that are needed in genomic studies. Because 
BAC clones are relatively large and appear to faithfully represent an 
organism's genome, the BAC system will also be the vehicle of choice for the 
isolation of targeted regions of genomic DNA from additional organisms being 
used in specific biological studies, a variety of mouse strains, and even 
from individual humans. With the increasing interest in genomic approaches to 
biological research, the demand for new BAC libraries is expected to increase 
rapidly in the next several years. To meet the need to increase the number of 
available BAC libraries, NHGRI, NCRR, NIMH and NICHD plan to award a set of 
cooperative agreements (by December 1, 2001) to form the NIH BAC Resource 
Network and increase the national BAC library-making capacity. The Network 
will produce at least fifteen BAC libraries at 10X coverage of 'mammalian-
size' genomes or the equivalent.

As of November 15, 2001, the following procedure will apply to all requests 
from investigators who wish to access the NIH-supported capacity for 
constructing BAC libraries from the genome of any organism for which there is 
currently no BAC library or for which a new library is needed. This procedure 
applies to:

Requests for BAC library construction through the BAC Library Resource Network.

This procedure applies only to the choice of BAC library construction targets 
for the cooperative agreements funded under the NIH BAC Resource Network. 
Other agencies also support laboratories to construct BAC libraries and 
inquiries about having BAC libraries made under that support should be 
directed to those agencies.

Requests for making BAC libraries from all organisms except eubacteria, 
archaea, and plants.

The Institutes supporting the BAC Resource Network are components of the 
National Institutes of Health. Accordingly, their primary missions are to 
develop and apply techniques of genomics and large-scale biology to the 
improvement of human health and to the improved understanding of science that 
will lead to the improvement of human health. The sequencing of eubacterial, 
archaeal, and plant genomes are more appropriate to the missions of other 
components of the NIH and/or other agencies.

The following is a set of instructions that describe how individuals, groups, 
or entire research communities can submit requests to gain access to this 
resource and how decisions about allocating the capacity will be made.

1. To propose an organism as a candidate for having a BAC library constructed 
from its genome, a written request must be submitted to NHGRI.

a. The written request should address the following issues:

The importance of the organism to biomedical or biological research;
Uses to which the BAC library would be put, in addition to genomic 
sequencing;
The size of the research community that could potentially use the BAC library 
and the community's interest in and support for having a BAC library;
Whether the organism will be, or has been, proposed to NHGRI or another 
publicly funded agency for BAC-based genomic sequencing and the status of 
that request;
Other genomic resources that are available that will complement this resource;
The strain of the organism proposed and rationale for its selection; 
The size of the genome;
The availability of a source of DNA for construction of the BAC library 
(evidence of its quality for this purpose);
Specifications for the library (e.g., library depth, BAC insert size) and 
supporting scientific rationale for these specifications. (Note: any request 
for an unusual vector for a particular application must be thoroughly 
discussed);
The time frame in which the library is needed;
Other support that is available or has been requested for the construction of 
the desired library;
The need for an additional BAC library if one or more already exists; and
any other relevant information.

b. Other NIH Institutes or Centers may subsequently decide to contribute 
funds to this program for the construction of a specific BAC library using 
the expanded national BAC library-making capacity. In such cases, the 
decision about the need for preparing the library will already have been 
made. A written request must be still submitted, but can be limited to a 
discussion of the specifications needed and DNA resources available, so that 
the library maker will have the information necessary to develop a plan for 
making the library.

c. A written request may be submitted by an individual, a research group or a 
collaborative group, or by an individual(s) on behalf of an entire research 
community.

d. The written request should not exceed a total of five pages and must 
address all of the issues under 1a. If one or more issues are not applicable 
to the specific request, that should be stated clearly, rather than not 
addressed. There is no specific form necessary for submission of a request 
nor is any specific format required, but all of the issues listed in item 1a 
should be addressed.

e. The first set of written requests will be accepted on November 15, 2001. 
Thereafter, written requests will be accepted three times a year, on February 
10, June 10, and October 10.

The written request should be submitted by e-mail to:  
BAC_Library_Requests@mail.nih.gov.

2. A peer review committee set up by NHGRI program staff will assess the 
written requests on the basis of scientific interest and strategic 
feasibility based on the responsiveness to the issues described under 1a, and 
will establish a priority ranking for each request. The membership is posted 
at: this is the "Panel Membership" document. The assessment process will NOT 
involve the regular NIH peer review system.

a. For each organism proposed, the committee will recommend whether the NIH 
BAC Resource Network should accept the request and, if so, whether it should 
be assigned to a high priority pool or to a standard priority pool. If the 
written request does not present enough information or a strong enough case 
to allow the committee to come to a decision, the request will be declined 
and the applicant can resubmit the request at the next deadline.

b. Libraries whose construction is specifically being funded by other NIH 
Institutes participating in this program will automatically be assigned to 
the high priority pool, unless there is a serious flaw in the proposed plan.

c. The committee's decisions will be reported yearly, in writing, by NHGRI 
staff to the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research.

3. New libraries to be constructed will be chosen from the priority pools on 
a schedule to be agreed upon by NHGRI staff and the laboratories 
participating in the BAC Library Resource Network.

4. The BAC library Resource Network will be overseen by a BAC Resource 
Steering Panel 
(http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/About_NHGRI/Der/org_request/panel_memb.html) of 4-6 
scientists, who will regularly evaluate the program's overall progress and 
make recommendations to the NHGRI and participating Institutes about any 
adjustments that need to be made to the program.

For additional information about the BAC library construction program, 
please contact:

Dr. Jane Peterson
Program Director, Large-scale Sequencing
National Human Genome Research Institute
Building 31, Room B2B07
MSC 2033
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland  20852-2033
Phone:  (301) 496-7531
Fax:  (301) 480-2770
e-mail:  jane_peterson@nih.gov


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