Roche and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Washington DC have come to a collaboration agreement to use Roche’s GS Junior benchtop sequencing system for research in SCBI’s Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics. SCBI’s genetics laboratory, based at the National Zoo in Washington DC, will house the next-generation sequencing instrument and will use its deep DNA sequencing powers for a variety of research projects in areas of animal disease resistance, population genetics, and molecular ecology.
The SCBI plays a key role in the Smithsonian’s global efforts to understand and conserve species and train future generations of conservationists, while specializing in areas of animal ecology, management, health, and breeding. Researchers at SCBI plan to use the GS Junior System’s DNA sequencing technology to gain deeper insight into the genetics of dangerous pathogens that threaten animal species. Specific projects include sequencing strains of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus that has devastated amphibian populations worldwide; sequencing highly pathogenic strains of the elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV1); and sequencing invasive avian malaria strains that are devastating most species of native Hawaiian birds.