The Yeast ORFan Gene Project is a consortium of undergraduate researchers and faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) to coordinate resources and design strategies to assign molecular functions to genes of unknown function in the model organism S. cerevisiae (Baker’s yeast).
When the genomic sequence of the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s or Brewer’s yeast) was completed in 1996, the expectation was that an understanding of the integrated functioning of the collection of genes in this single-celled eukaryote would shortly follow. Despite more than 20 years of intense collaborative effort among yeast researchers, nearly 10% of open reading frames (ORFs) are considered uncharacterized. Determining the function of these orphan genes (ORFans) will require mining the current yeast genomic data, compiled in the Saccharomyces genome database (SGD), to most effectively design ORF-specific experiments in cell and molecular biology, and comparative genomics. The “Yeast ORFan Gene Project” is a network of yeast researchers and educators with a focus on teaching experimental design to students and to overcome the challenges and absorb the risks of researching individual ORFans.
Currently, the major activity of the network is week-long summer workshops for faculty to collaborate on adapting bioinformatic and wet-lab modules for use in classes at their home institutions. Members of the network have access to modules and protocols developed at the workshops.
To join the network, go to the “how to Join” tab above (http://www.yeastorfanproject.com/how-to-join/)
To learn more about the workshops, go to the summer workshops tab above (http://www.yeastorfanproject.com/summer-workshops/). Also check out the newsletter link below.
Director Jill Keeney, Juniata College,
Funded by National Science Foundation