Avian Genome Mapping Advances at the Roslin Institute in 1995


In 1995 David W. Burt the Chair of Comparative Genomics at the Roslin Institute, Midlothian, Scotland, wrote several articles on the successes of mapping the avian genome through the project the International Poultry Genome Mapping Project and the creation of the public database, ChickGBASE  (http://archive.is/DCn2c)  that was established at the Roslin Institute to ‘provide access to a summary of chicken gene mapping data.’

IMG_4160In the article, ‘Chicken genome mapping: a new era in avian genetics’ by Burt, Bumstead, Bitgood, Ponce de Leon and Crittenden, Trends in Genetics (May 1995, Vol. 11, No. 5), they note that the ‘first linkage map of the chicken, which was also the first linkage map reported for any domestic farm animal species, was published in 1936 by Hutt’ and there were updates by other scientists over the years.

There are multiple articles by Burt and others on the progress made with avian gene mapping in the Roslin Institute’s 1995 offprint series and what’s fascinating to see is how the advances in biotechnology has aided their efforts.

IMG_4155According to Burt’s report in the Roslin Institute’s Annual Report 1994-1995, the next challenge that they faced was to ‘locate and identify the defective gene in this (talpid3) mutant’ and that ‘a “positional cloning” approach could be used in which the talpid genetic locus itself is cloned and genes within that DNA are tested.’