GAGA has now been launched via an open access publication in Myrmecological News, the collections for the first dozens of the up to 300 ant species have started, and the GAGA website has become relatively complete (http://antgenomics.dk/).
We are now reaching out to researchers to actively engage in GAGA, a joint global enterprise to obtain and analyze an unprecedented collection of genomic resources for ants. This call for participation is directed at individual PIs, PI-groups, and consortia that can see a positive alignment between their individual or group interests and the GAGA initiative when addressing social evolution questions at a comparative genomic scale.
We expect there are tremendous skills out there and many who would be interested in sharing their future ambitions with the GAGA community in exchange for a globally endorsed research niche as main PI, co-PI, or collaborator. We also encourage expressions of interest that PIs want to use for grant applications.
If you are interested, please contact one or several members of the GAGA governing board that you feel are most likely to share your research interests to initiate discussion on how your plans or future grant applications could benefit from a GAGA association. Becoming associated with the GAGA consortium will imply PIs can receive the same special sequencing discount from our partner Novogene.
When plans have crystallized, we encourage PIs to submit the form available at antgenomics.dk, ideally by 15 September 2017, so that collection and sequencing efforts can be optimally coordinated. The form can be downloaded here.
While larger core projects of GAGA will often, but not necessarily always, have GAGA board members as driving partners, subprojects can be pursued by independent PIs without the involvement of GAGA board members. We explicitly invite submission of such independent subprojects, which can have different levels of integration and exchange with GAGA (details).
We anticipate that subprojects will typically focus on more detailed species-level genomic comparisons, for example in single tribes of ants with unique life histories that are likely to have retained specific signatures of molecular adaptation in their genomes.
We expect subprojects to be coordinated by PI groups with their own funding independent of the GAGA objectives so that interaction with GAGA will focus on sharing data and facilitating comparisons of genomic data sets with sister lineages that will be sequenced under the auspices of GAGA (see also here).
Apart from subprojects generating genome sequences of ant species, we hope to also attract subprojects that will use the massive amounts of genomic data produced through GAGA for specific types of analyses that PI-groups are experts in. Such projects could, for example, focus on algorithm development, structural trends of genome evolution, the evolution of specific gene families, or convergent evolution of complex life history traits.
All submitted forms are subject to an approval procedure by the GAGA board, to prevent overlap between different subprojects. After that researchers associated with subprojects will gain access to the (otherwise restricted) collaborator section on antgenomics.dk, where information on ongoing and planned GAGA subprojects will be shared and progress be discussed.