The Amphibian and Reptile Genome Initiative
The Amphibian and Reptile Genome Initiative aims to build a foundation of genomic data to advance our understanding and conservation of Australia’s unique reptiles and amphibians.
Building on the experience from previous Bioplatforms investments (OMG, GAP), we propose a program of targeted genomics, including de-novo genome assembly/annotation, phylogenomics and conservation genomics, which will:
- Accelerate fundamental research of reptile and amphibian genomics in areas that Australia is uniquely placed to make its mark on the world stage.
- Complement fundamental organismal research with genomics to meet critical needs of conservation management and our unique reptile and amphibian biodiversity, as identified by society, government and industry.
- Consolidate and extend capabilities in genome science across museum/university-agency partnerships.
The Amphibian and Reptile Genome Initiative, led by representatives from the Australian museums, relevant universities and government agencies aims to:
- Build a foundation of genomic data to advance our understanding and conservation of Australia’s unique reptiles and amphibians;
- Accelerate fundamental research of reptile and amphibian genomics in areas that Australia is uniquely placed to make its mark on the world stage;
- Complement fundamental research with genomics to meet critical needs of conservation management and our unique reptile and amphibian biodiversity, as identified by society, government and industry;
- Build a community across Australian museums, Universities and other research providers, and government agencies to sustain the initiative beyond the life of the Bioplatforms investment; and
- Increase awareness of the public and conservation managers of the diversity of Australian mammals and how genomics can aid in their conservation and management.
The community that will engage with this initiative to deliver on the above aims will be drawn from:
- Those in the research community with the capacity to sequence, annotate, physically map and make publicly available (FAIR) draft genome sequences using the latest technologies, and/or the capacity to undertake the companion studies necessary to address the research questions of substance; and
- Those in government departments, zoos and others with captive breeding facilities, non-government organisations and community groups who will use the genomic resources arising from this initiative, or work in collaboration with the researchers, in achieving their conservation and management objectives.
The Reptile and Amphibian Initiative will work closely with the national facilities for compute and storage (National Computational Infrastructure, Australian Research Data Commons, AaRNET), latest bioinformatics pipelines for assembly and annotation (BioCommons), for making the data they generate rapidly and widely available (EMBL, EBI, AaRNET), and draw upon the specialist expertise of the Bioplatforms sequencing hubs. The team also has good collaborative relationship with Genome 10K, Vertebrate Genome Project and Earth BioGenome Project to give the necessary international connections.