USDA Releasing Genomic Data from 150 Bird Flu Viruses

The United States Department of Agriculture has released the complete genetic sequences of 150 different avian influenza viruses and will make the information available through the National Institutes of Health’s GenBank.
The USDA said on Friday that the sequencing data is part of the federal government’s Initiative on Avian Influenza, and that this information will be combined with studies that compare the viruses’ ability to infect poultry such as chickens, turkeys, and domestic ducks.
This virus research that generated this data was conducted by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL), by the University of Georgia, the Ohio State University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
“The project’s ultimate goal is to sequence 900 avian influenza viruses from the SEPRL repository,” David Suarez, a researcher with SEPRL, said in a statement. “These include avian influenza viruses collected from both poultry and wild bird species in the United States and around the world.
“This sequence information, deciphered by our large team, will help researchers better understand virus biology and improve diagnostic tests for avian influenza viruses,” Suarez added.
Sequencing services for the project were conducted by the Houston-based company SeqWright.

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