The Joint Genome Institute’s Walnut Creek facility has been given a new name.
The name change – to the Production Genomics Facility from the Production Sequencing Facility – reflects a shift in focus and its changing scientific environment, according to JGI Director Trevor Hawkins. Since the JGI was established in 1997, combining the gene-sequencing efforts of Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Livermore national labs, the institute’s focus has been on sequencing three human chromosomes. The three chromosomes–5, 16, and 19–represent about 11 percent of the human genome and have been, essentially, the institute’s mission and identity. Currently, the finishing touches to those sequences are under way, with the JGI’s partners at Stanford and Los Alamos, and are expected to be completed within a year, Hawkins said.
In recent months, the JGI has undertaken sequencing other large genomes, such as the Fugu pufferfish and the sea squirt. Additionally, the institute has sequenced numerous microorganisms and fungi associated with bioremediation, carbon sequestration and lignin digestion. About a year ago, JGI researchers sequenced the entire genome for a harmful bacterium that is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.
“Our name change to the Production Genomics Facility is a statement that we are more than just a world leader in DNA sequencing and that over the next few years new scientific programs will flourish at this site to take full advantage of this resource,” Hawkins said.