Beijing Genomics Institute

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Beijing Genomics Institute
IndustryGenome sequencing
Number of locationsShenzhen, Hong Kong, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Beijing, China; Boston, USA; Copenhagen, Denmark
 
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Beijing Genomics Institute
IndustryGenome sequencing
Number of locationsShenzhen, Hong Kong, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Beijing, China; Boston, USA; Copenhagen, Denmark
A sequencing room at BGI Hong Kong

BGI (Chinese: 华大基因; pinyin: Huádà Jīyīn), known as the Beijing Genomics Institute prior to 2008, is one of the world’s premier genome sequencing centers.[1]

History[edit]

Yang Huanming and others created BGI in November 1999 in Beijing, China as a non-governmental independent research institute in order to participate in the Human Genome Project as China's representative.[2][3] After the project was completed, funding dried up. So BGI moved to Hangzhou in exchange for funding from the Hangzhou Municipal Government.

In 2002, BGI sequenced the rice genome which was a cover story in the journal Science. In 2003 BGI decoded the SARS virus genome and created a kit for detection of the virus. In 2003, BGI Hangzhou and the Zhejiang University founded a new research institute, the James D. Watson Institute of Genome Sciences, Zhejiang University. The Watson Institute was intended to become a major center for research and education in East Asia modelled after the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the US.

In 2007 BGI’s headquarters relocated to Shenzhen as "the first citizen-managed, non-profit research institution in China". In 2008, BGI-Shenzhen was officially recognized as a state agency.[4] In 2008, BGI published the first human genome of an Asian individual.[2][5]

In 2010 BGI Shenzhen was certified as meeting the requirements of ISO9001:2008 standard for the design and provision of high-throughput sequencing services,[6] The same year BGI bought 128 sequencing machines and claimed to be the world's largest genome center.[2]

In 2010 it was reported that BGI would receive US$1.5 billion in “collaborative funds” over the next 10 years from the China Development Bank.[7][8] In 2010, BGI Americas was established with its main office in Cambridge, Massachusetts[9] and BGI Europe was established in Copenhagen.[10]

In 2011 BGI reported it employed 4,000 scientists and technicians.[1]

In 2013 BGI claimed it had relationships with 17 out of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies.[9][11] and advertised that it provided commercial science, health, agricultural, and informatics services.[12]

The Institute has described itself as partly private and partly public, receiving funds both from private investors and the Chinese government. The laboratory was also the Bioinformatics Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Key achievements[edit]

Current research projects [1][edit]

Human genetics[edit]

Yan Huang Project[edit]

Named after two Emperors believed to have founded China’s dominant ethnic group,[28] BGI plans to sequence at least 100 Chinese individuals to produce a high-resolution map of Chinese genetic polymorphisms.[29] The first genome sequenced is of an anonymous Chinese billionaire who donated $10 million RMB to the project.[29] And the first YanHuang genome project is named "YanHuang 1",whose genome data is published on http://yh.genomics.org.cn.

The 1000 genomes project[edit]

Diabetes-associated Genes and Variations Study (LUCAMP) Cancer Genome Project[edit]

Nine Danish universities and institutes will collaborate with BGI in this targeted resequencing project.

BGI explores associated genome and gene variation in complexes diseases in large-scale studies primarily using two methods: PCR-based resequencing of candidate genes and exon-capture-based whole exome resequencing.

Cognitive Research Lab[edit]

The Cognitive Research Lab at BGI is working with Stephen Hsu on a project to discover the genetic basis of human intelligence.[30]

Animals and plants[edit]

1,000 Plant and Animal Reference Project[edit]

BGI is leading an international collaboration to sequence 1,000 plants and animals of economic and scientific import within two years. It has pledged an initial US$100 million to start the program.[31]

BGI has already sequenced genomes of 20 species of animals and 9 species of plants—sometimes for multiple individuals, such as 40 silkworms 19713493, and has an equal number underway as of March 2010. Visit the project's website to monitor progress, see the species planned to be sequenced, and apply to join the effort.[32]

Three Extreme-Environment Animal Genomes Project[edit]

http://www.genomics.cn/en/research.php?type=show&id=330

International Big Cats Genome Project[edit]

BGI, Beijing University, Heilongjiang Manchurian tiger forestry zoo, Kunming Institute of Zoology, San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conversation Research in California, and others will sequence the Amur tiger, South China tiger, Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, African lion, cloud leopard, snow leopard, and other felines. BGI will also sequence the genomes and epigenoms of a liger and tigon. Since the two reciprocal hybrids have different phenotypes, despite being genetically identical, it is expected that the epigenome may reveal the basis of such differences.[33]

The project will significantly advance conservation research and was auspiciously announced for the Chinese year of the Tiger.[34]

Symbiont Genome Project[edit]

A jointly funded project announced March 19, 2010, BGI will collaborate with Sidney K. Pierce of University of South Florida and Charles Delwiche of the University of Maryland at College Park to sequence the genomes of the sea slug, Elysia chlorotica, and its algal food Vaucheria litorea. The sea slug uses genes from the algae to synthesize chlorophyll, the first interspecies of gene transfer discovered. Sequencing their genomes could elucidate the mechanism of that transfer.[35]

Microorganisms[edit]

Ten Thousand Microbial Genomes Project[edit]

http://english.cas.cn/Ne/CASE/200908/t20090805_44705.shtml

Bioinformatics technology[edit]

De novo sequencing requires aligning billions of short strings of DNA sequence into a full genome, itself three billion base pairs long for humans.

BGI’s computational biologists developed the first successful algorithm, based on graph theory, for aligning billions of 25 to 75-base pair strings produced by next-generation sequencers, specifically Illumina’s Genome Analyzer, during de novo sequencing. The algorithm, called SOAPdenovo, can assemble a genome in two days[18] and has been used to sequence an array of plant and animal genomes.

BGI’s 500-node supercomputer processes 10 terabytes of raw sequencing data every 24 hours from its current 30 or so Genome Analyzers from Illumina. The annual budget for the computer center is US$9 million.[36]

SOAPdenovo is part of "Short Oligonucleotide Analysis Package" (SOAP), a suite of tools developed by BGI for de novo assembly of human-sized genomes, alignment, SNP detection, resequencing, indel finding, and structural variation analysis. Built for the Illumina sequencers' short reads, SOAPdenovo has been used to assemble multiple human genomes[14][15][16] (identifying an eight kilobase insertion not detected by mapping to the human reference genome[37]) and animals, like the giant panda.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  30. ^ Stephen Hsu is New Director of Research for MSU:
  31. ^ Fox, J.; Kling, J. (2010). "Chinese institute makes bold sequencing play". Nature Biotechnology 28 (3): 189–191. doi:10.1038/nbt0310-189c. PMID 20212469.  edit
  32. ^ http://www.ldl.genomics.cn/page/index.jsp
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External links[edit]