VOTE! 1000 Genomes Project invites you to choose the next species to be genetically sequenced

VOTE! 1000 Genomes Project invites you to choose the next species to be genetically sequenced

In this new stage of the initiative, citizens will be able to choose between species and microorganisms from all over Chile. The Pudú, the Condor and Fiu (seven-colored bird) are already leading the voting.

“We want Chilean society to feel an integral part of our project and of the scientific research we carry out”. With this phrase the director of the Center for Genome Regulation (CRG), Miguel Allende, urged the population to vote for the species of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms from all the regions of the country that will be the first to be sequenced by the 100 Genomes project.

The initiative – under the slogan “Chile sequences Chile” – seeks to characterize Chilean biodiversity by deciphering the DNA characteristics of the species that inhabit our territory and is developed by the CRG, together with the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM), the Millennium Institute Biodiversity of Antarctic and Subantarctic Ecosystems, and the Millennium Institute of Integrative Biology. It is also promoted by the Universities of Chile, Católica, Santiago, O’Higgins, Antofagasta, La Frontera, Andrés Bello and Católica de Valparaíso.

List of applicants

During the launching of this new stage, held on April 10 at the central house of the Pontificia Universidad Católica, it was informed that the candidates were defined based on criteria of ecological importance, threat of extinction, cultural or patrimonial interest and economic importance.

“It will be possible to choose those species of greatest interest, with a choice of organisms per group: vertebrates, invertebrates, native plants, arboreal species, fungi and lichens and microorganisms (…) It is important to become aware of the importance of knowing and conserving our own biodiversity, and to empower ourselves to lead projects that contribute to this end”, expressed the also academic of the Universidad de Chile.

For now, the available list corresponds to the taxonomic group of vertebrates: Huemul, Andean Condor, Parina grande, Pudú, Darwin’s Frog, Juan Fernández Giant Otter, Andean Cat, Southern Dolphin, Nun Tern, Greenish Black, Seven-colored (Fiu) and Orestias.

How to vote

To participate you must enter and choose the species by clicking on the image.

Professor Miguel Allende pointed out that this call to the public responds to the objective of “promoting education and knowledge about the biodiversity of our country. Our web page is not only a space for scientists, we offer information on species and their conservation, and we address the field of genomics and its contribution to the scientific understanding of biodiversity for everyone, from conservation aspects to applications in the productive sector”.

For the coordinator of the CMM Climate and Biodiversity line and director of the Mathomics Laboratory, Alejandro Maass, the relevance of these sequencing exercises “is a question that is not answered in the same way today as it was 20 years ago, when we started. The simple answer is: many of the recipes that each organism uses to live in different environments are written there; it allows us to study its life and evolutionary history”.

“While that answer is still valid, it also makes sense to the extent that we are able to use it in a more sophisticated way to understand complex processes, not only as a recipe written in four letters, but also mixed with the ability to extract sophisticated information from it, such as metabolic networks that allow us to study fluxes and using mathematical and data science methods to gain predictive power. I personally believe that a project to generate genomes is not only that, it must be a project that can be coupled with other ideas and generate value from its conception”, added Maass.

New stage of 1000 genomes

In addition to the call for citizen participation and the workshop “Collaborating for the Future of Genomic Biodiversity in Chile”, the event featured the international guest speaker Camila Mazzoni, deputy director of the Biodiversity Genomics Europe (BGE) project, who spoke about the urgency and relevance of conserving biodiversity, and stressed that this commitment is shared by all the signatory countries of the framework agreement on biological biodiversity.

“To achieve knowledge of the genomes of the species of interest and to be able to use that information for their conservation, it is crucial that a country or region integrates all academic structures, centers of excellence, government and groups of experts, ensuring work with high standards and in a distributed and inclusive manner, as well as connected with international initiatives to avoid duplication of efforts. With a solid structure and a standardized, yet flexible protocol, it will be possible to focus on what the region and the country really need in terms of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources,” he said.

Center for Mathematical Modeling

The CMM is today the most active scientific research institution in mathematical modeling in Latin America. It is a center of excellence of the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID) of Chile, integrated by eight partner universities and located at the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the University of Chile. It is also the International Research Laboratory (IRL) #2807 of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Its mission is to create mathematics in response to problems in other sciences, industry and public policy. It seeks to develop science with the highest standards, excellence and rigor in areas such as data science, climate and biodiversity, education, resource management, mining and digital health.

By Alonso Farías Ponce, journalist of the Center for Mathematical Modeling.

Posted on Apr 18, 2024 in News