FABI teamwork: almost 1500 genes annotated in 5 hours! 2014-04-03
FABI is well known for using the power of many to get certain jobs done faster, more effectively and with more enjoyment. The team spirit and enthusiasm of the students far overshadow the pressures involved in many research projects and other crucial tasks in and around the institute.
On 4 April, FABI students and staff joined a jamboree to curate more than 1400 genes of a tree pathogen, Ceratocystis albifundus. This fungus is an important pathogen of native trees (including several Protea spp.) and the commercially important Acacia mearnsii. The whole genome of the fungus was recently sequenced as part of a larger project where genomes of 20 Ceratocystis spp. were sequenced. The jamboree was organized with two goals in mind. Firstly, to train the gene annotation pipeline MAKER using C. albifundus as model. The trained program will be of benefit to many students working on various aspects of the Ceratocystis genomes in the foreseeable future. The second purpose was to provide hands-on experience to staff and students in gene annotation and using MAKER. Twenty one FABIans volunteered to take part in the jamboree and aimed to curate 1000 genes over two days. Because of the eagerness, fervor and commitment of all the participants, 1458 genes were curated in 5 hours, making it unnecessary to return the following day. Now that is team work!