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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 3 (2007 Deadline)

Integrated Genetic/Physical Mapping of Gossypium   
UGA-NIBGE Cotton Plant Smaller

Andrew Paterson, University of Georgia, Athens
Mehboob-ur-Rahman, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad
Pakistani Funding (MoST):  $140,000 (not yet paid)
US Funding (State):   $160,000

Project Dates on US Side: July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2012

Project Overview

This project is focused on the creation of an integrated genetic/physical map of the Gossypium D genome (cotton species of New World origin). The US lab has produced a high-quality bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for the D genome and has begun both fingerprinting the library and anchoring to a leading cotton reference genetic map also made in the US lab. Major activities on the project include targeted bridging of gaps in the current contig map of the D genome and targeted anchoring of rogue unanchored contigs by genetic mapping of BAC-end derived simple sequence repeats (in Pakistan) using DNA from the reference map provided by the US lab. Pakistani scientists have received interdisciplinary training in genetic, molecular, and computational methodologies at the University of Georgia, although progress has been significantly hindered by the lack of funding from MoST.

Major Results

  • Enriched the integration of genetic and physical maps for cotton (Gossypium) that are being used in guiding assembly of the genome sequence by an international consortium led by the US principal investigator and including the Pakistani principal investigator
  • Hosted visits of 6-9 months by the Pakistani principal investigator and two of his graduate students (a third is pending) at the University of Georgia, after which one of the students, Ms. Nabila Tabassam, independently established a plant genomics lab at the National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology in Islamabad
  • Augmented the sets of DNA markers in use at NIBGE, which is adopting tools and resources gained from the project in its germplasm characterization and genetic improvement programs
  • Catalyzed scientific collaborations with additional Pakistani and US scientists, one of whom was awarded a grant under Phase 4 of the Pakistan-US S&T Cooperation Program to study cotton begomoviruses

Quarterly Update

The partners remain in regular contact and continue to focus on mapping additional DNA markers to the G. raimondii map and further refining the physical map. Four manuscripts on the results have been published and a fifth (a joint review of cotton genetic resources) is in press in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development. Dr. Shahid Mansoor, a researcher from NIBGE, was awarded a Fulbright grant and arrived in Dr. Paterson's lab in late September 2011 for a one-year stay. Meanwhile, Dr. Paterson continues to serve as informal advisor via e-mail to Pakistani graduate students at NIBGE. Prospects for continuation of linkages between NIBGE and the University of Georgia are excellent, given the recent funding of the Phase 4 project involving Dr. Mansoor and another Georgia researcher, Dr. Peng Chee. As of April 2012, the project is essentially complete on the U.S. side; however, the funds remain pending on the Pakistani side.

Progress Report Summaries 

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