OPPORTUNITY TO PROPOSE ORGANISMS FOR BAC LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION
Release Date: December 19, 2001
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
(https://www.genome.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,
Dr. Jane Peterson
Program Director, Large-scale Sequencing
National Human Genome Research Institute
Building 31, Room B2B07
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20852-2033
Phone: (301) 496-7531
Fax: (301) 480-2770
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