The Silkworm Genome Research Program (SGP) has been established in 1994 at the National Institute of Sericultural and Entomological Science (NISES), now known as the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), and is being coordinated by the Insect Genome Research Team. From 2003, the SGP has been greatly facilitated by financial support from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
The silkworm genome information is indispensable for advancements in the field of entomology, promotion of industries related to insects, and development of insect pest control technology in agriculture. In particular, lepidopteran insects which belong to the same genus as silkworm specifically cause significant damage to crops. Thus, a thorough understanding of the silkworm genome will have a great impact in sericulture and other industries that utilize specific functions of insects, as well as in the development of strategies for efficient insect pest control.
In 1996, the SGP released 'BombMap', a comprehensive linkage map of the silkworm genome. Then in 1999, a database of silkworm partial cDNA sequences 'Silkbase' was also released in collaboration with the University of Tokyo. Recently, the SGP has initiated the 'Insect Technology Project' involving many scientists in this field, and is playing an important role in this project. The SGP is currently incorporating all information from 'BombMap' and 'SilkBase' into a core database known as 'KAIKOBase', integrating all silkworm genome data including ESTs, chromosome linkage map and genome sequence data.
The NIAS Insect Genome Research Team is carrying out the SGP in collaboration with the NIAS DNA Bank. All information is released on the Internet through the NIAS DNA Bank.
Silkworm Genome Research Program (SGP)
National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS)
Kannondai 2-1-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan