Friday, June 17, 2016

#OMGN2016 Malmo, Sweden - Between Then and Now...

Many things have changed in the years in front of me since the day I started attending OMGN meetings. My first meeting was in year 2005 and then the first Oomycetes genomes were getting sequenced and getting analyzed - at its own pace (read very slow pace). We used to get excited even when we got SSRs or repeats predicted. I distinctly remember the 2004 Joint Genome Institute sequence jamboree when in the evenings we used to gather to discuss what was done during the day. On second or third day of Jamboree, Brett came up with this multiple sequence alignment that presumably indicated that there was an RXLR motif in the effector proteins. It was a huge deal then. Subsequently in all the meetings everybody started discussing on these proteins. Initially it appeared too good to be true with this small 4 letter motif, but a lot of work was done especially in Brett's lab to prove that it indeed was a significant motif. The prediction algorithms of effectors got published in high flying journals, everybody was excited. Slowly many more papers came out on RXLRs, their prediction methods, characterizations till 2010. Now in 2016, I see the level of science has gone up way higher. Genome sequencing using PacBio or Illumina is no deal, neither is analyzing them. Effector prediction has become just a days job (Thanks to all the hard work done by the pioneers). Genome analysis are now carried out by single individuals in few months time. This meeting was a skew towards miRNAs, CRISPER technology for genome editing, pacbio sequencing, RNA silencing. The effector biology has moved many many steps up now. Many more things are now known. Many more proteins have been characterized. It is exciting time in the history of oomycetes biology where many things are happening right in front of our eyes. For those who could not attend please check #OMGN16 for more details. For me now bye bye lovely Malmo!!