In 2000, Dr. Pieter de Jong relocated his vast collection of human and
animal DNA clones to CHORI from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo,
New York. This collection is the major source of clone material for the
Human Genome Project. Additionally, researchers worldwide use the collection
to characterize genomes of many medically and economically important species
of animals, protists, and bacteria.
Using molecular biology techniques, Dr. de Jong breaks genomic DNA into
very large segments and inserts the individual segments into a bacterial
vector for propagation in E. coli. These bacterial artificial chromosomes
(BAC) are amplified and stored in microtiter plates to create recombinant
DNA libraries. To date, Dr. de Jong and his group have accumulated approximately
three million clones, which are stored in forty freezers located at CHORI.
The major resource for decoding of the human genome is de Jongs
current human library, which comes from one anonymous donor. Because this
persons specific genetic background is completely unknown, research
can proceed without distractions related to the ethnicity or personal
characteristics of the donor.
The human library is his largest, but he also has libraries for the mouse,
Drosophila, dog, cat, cow, pig, silkworm, and several strains of rat.
Libraries of single-cell organisms include Plasmodium several trypanosomes,
and other non-disease protists and bacteria. Future projects include creating
libraries for additional medically relevant species and agricultural animals,
including the horse, turkey, tilapia, and catfish.
For additional information on Dr. de Jong's research and BACPAC resources
at CHORI, please visit the BACPAC
Resource Center website: http://www.chori.org/bacpac/