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iPlant: It's Not Just for Plants Anymore!

By University of Texas at Austin

May 15, 2013

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The U.S. National Science Foundation in 2008 launched its iPlant Collaborative to serve as a cyberinfrastructure for the plant sciences community to solve significant biological challenges. The project aims to create and provide tools that will help biologists leverage increasing data sets and new computational techniques.

In addition, iPlant serves the animal agricultural community with iAnimal, a portal supported by iPlant cyberinfrastructure that offers computing resources to enable previously impossible analyses.

In 2012, Iowa State University Reecy Lab researchers joined iPlant to test iAnimal using large data sets from the 1000 Bull Genomes Consortium and Buffalo Genome Consortium. The 1000 Bull Genome project collects sequence data from collaborators worldwide to identify the most biologically- and economically-viable DNA variants for molecular breeding programs and research. To enable researchers to progress rapidly from raw DNA sequence to DNA variants, Iowa State teamed with iPlant partner site Texas Advanced Computing Center to create software that enables sequence data to be processed in eight to 10 hours on high-performance computing systems, down from the three weeks required previously. The Buffalo Genome Consortium needed a genotyping platform for genetic diversity and molecular-breeding research and used iAnimal to identify 13.8 million buffalo specific variants across four water buffalo breeds.

From University of Texas at Austin
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