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Genomes of Animals and Plants (GAP) Virtual Conference is a Dovetail Genomics sponsored event that will help bring the genome assembly community together in these troubled times.  Now, more than ever, efficient communication of exciting advances in plant and animal genomics is necessary.
The inaugural GAP2021 event will take place virtually on January 12-14, 2021 and will showcase de novo genome assembly projects from leading researchers in three main areas of study – conservation, evolution and agriculture. The emphasis will be on the application of high quality, chromosome-scale assemblies to downstream biological research.
In addition to exciting talks from our invited speakers, we will update attendees on the latest Dovetail advances in genome assembly technology and bioinformatics.  Interactive Q&A sessions will enable scientific discussion between attendees and the speaker panels, small breakout discussions will facilitate smaller focused group conversations, and all attendees are encouraged to present their scientific research in the poster session.
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Event Highlights

  • Exciting talks with invited speakers
  • Dovetail genome assembly technology and bioinformatics updates
  • Interactive Q&A Sessions
  • Breakout sessions
  • Poster sessions open to all attendees
  • All attendees will be mailed a welcome package with awesome swag!

Featured Speakers

ConservationJanuary 12, 2021

PLENARY: How can genomics aid management decisions?

Lessons from the mountain lion Puma concolor

-Dr. Beth Shapiro, UC Santa Cruz

Genetic approaches have long been used in conservation research, but it has only recently become tractable to generate genome-wide data at a scale that may be useful for conservation. Using the mountain lion as an example, this talk will explore how genome-wide data might be useful to affect short-and long-term conservation management and policy decisions.

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Evolution – January 13, 2021

Narwhal Dentition Phenome, Evolution, and Expression of Nature’s Most Extraordinary Tooth

Dr. Martin Nweeia, Harvard School of Dental Medicine

The narwhal is an iconic toothed whale species endemic to the Arctic waters around Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway. It is characterized by an extraordinary straight, spiraled tusk erupting from the left side, and dental expression that is unique among all mammalian species. Evolutionary links are limited and include fossil records from the Pliocene, Bohaskia montondontoides and Miocene Denbola and Odobenocetopsidae though these archaeocetes inhabited warmer waters, and have no homologous dental structure to narwhal. No other modern cetacean expresses the unusual asymmetric straight and spiraled tusk with the microanatomic feature of patent dentinal tubules from the external ocean environment to the tusk’s inner nerve and blood supply that functions with sensory ability. A referenced assembly has been prepared for male and female narwhal with the male assembly comprised of 864 contigs totaling 2.37 Gb with a contig N50 of 24 Mb. BUSCO indicates a high degree of completeness at 93% with accuracy estimates >Q40. Examining regulatory regions of genes associated with tooth loss and continuous growth can help explain how multiple lineages have independently evolved teeth that can continuously grow and explain the unique development of narwhal dentition in which 12 teeth undergo genetic silencing at birth, and give rise to unusual tusk morphology and expression.

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AgBio – January 14, 2021

The Genome of the House Cricket, Acheta domesticus:

Improving Insects for Food and Feed Applications

Dr. Brenda Oppert, USDA-ARS

The world faces significant challenges to feed increasing populations. This talk will detail our development of genetic tools to improve insects for food applications.Sustainable protein is a major limitation in feeding future world populations, and insects are a valuable and efficient source of protein. Insects require much less water and land than traditional livestock. However, genomic resources are needed to improve insect traits for feed applications, such as aquaculture.

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