i5K Coordinating Group

Conference Call Minutes

May 18, 2022

11:00-12:00 (EDT

Attending : Mike Pfrender, Chris Childers, Anna Childers, Kevin Hackett, Marian Goldsmith, Josh Benoit, Brad Coates, Monica Poelchau, Robert Miller, Mark Blaxter, Surya Saha, Meg Allen

The focus of this meeting will be preparing for AGS at Notre Dame, particularly with respect to re-visioning i5K.

  • Upcoming Meetings [brief updates, if any]
    • AGSX 2022 Webinars (Brad)
      • Wrapped up, good attendance and participation (over 96 attendees, will post on Scinet site soon)
      • Thoughts on increasing attendance to a broader audience - get the word out to universities (HBCUs)? Does anyone have contacts? Monica will try to reach out to the GEP group for advertising
      • We have gotten pretty good engagement on YouTube for AGSx: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUdQAuND3gdN3Tdc-fNW4Nw
    • Arthropod Genomics Symposium, 9-11 June 2022, Notre Dame (Mike, Sue, Josh, Rob: Lunch, Posters-Kristen)
      • 90 in person registrations so far, 120 virtual
      • Masks are currently optional on campus - organizers will communicate policies. Masking is still suggested; Mike will double-check language on the AGS website to see if it needs to be updated with the changing situation.
      • UI is up for hosting next year’s symposium - conversations are beginning but no details yet
    • ICE-Helsinki, July 2022 (Rob)
    • Lep Workshop-Crete, 21-27 August 2022 (Marian)
      • Marian has a handout for distribution. She would appreciate help publicizing. She will send out the handout later. She is open to suggestions.
      • It will be in person.
    • Biodiversity Genomics-Hinxton, 3-7 October 2022 (Mark, Rob, Anna)
      • conference will be completely virtual.
      • format will be different - ‘around the world’ concept. There are regional sections (Anna and Rob are both chairs). Planning is in the early stages. Everything will be pre-recorded; you can watch in advance and submit questions in advance. Meetings will run for ~18 hours a day - you can attend when you are awake!
      • Idea for a panel-based ‘genome hackathon’, where someone introduces hairy assembly (or other) problems and the panel discusses how to handle them
      • Still looking for help chairing and assembling speakers from some regions (e.g. middle east) - help is welcome!
    • ESA-Vancouver, 13-16 November 2022 (Brad, Catherine): symposia
      • 11 out of 12 speaker invites accepted
  • Publications
    • Paper on squash bee from the Cornome project was just submitted
  • EBP Update (Kevin, Anna)
    • GoaT updates were discussed;Harris gave a detailed account
    • Discussion on Ukraine war - e.g. damaged collections and how to save them. Some herbaria, microbial collection have been lost
  • Brainstorming 2022: What are the gaps and which ones can we fill? What are our goals for 2022? Rebooting i5k efforts in light of mass genome sequencing projects. What is our role? What is our identity, our brand?
    • Meeting/Workshop Sessions
      • We are holding a lot of meetings and workshops. People may be tired of these (zoom fatigue). We can discuss streamlining our efforts here to be most effective.
      • technical seminar series: e.g. Pangenomes; population genomics
      • topical seminar series: AI, looking beyond genome sequence and assembly; comparative genomics, data sharing, data mining
      • training sessions and workshops (Anna: If we see education/training/outreach as an important part of the mission of i5k then I would be willing to reboot the i5k Webinar series, but I’d like help with identifying topics and speakers as this became very time intensive for me to do alone.)
        • Anna: discuss how much we generate these trainings versus create an echo chamber to help point others to the opportunities already existing rather than rolling our own.
      • Brainstorming/networking sessions for those interested in collaborating to put together grants to NSF or other opportunities?
    • Maintaining databases, sharing data
      • i5k Workspace; databases arising from DtoL and ERGA; many other topical databases
    • Setting and elevating (quality) standards and best practices
      • Anna: I do think we can do more to push adoption of best practices and collaboration rather than silos where people are producing genomes in secret.
    • Articulating arthropod/insect needs within the larger EBP community (that may be vertebrate-focused) - if we are too fractured, then we can’t show as much force within the larger (taxonomic) community.
    • New Projects-Priority List
    • Funding Opportunities. Can/should we be more effective?
    • Publications
    • No ‘task teams’ per se in the i5k coordinating committee, at the moment - do we need them? Ideas:
      • Applications and user needs
      • training needs
      • making the bioeconomy argument. bioeconomy has become a buzzword. The US president is coming out with a bioeconomy executive order. Other countries are jumping on the biotech bandwagon. Have we made the case that we are providing the basic pipelines for the bioeconomy? Kevin thinks not; yet we are the ones providing the raw material that everyone else will use to perform biotechnology research. Insects are diverse, therefore we comprise a large chunk of eukaryotes. Bioeconomy is also a different argument than conservation that could attract other interest/funding
      • advertising - one page vignettes are a way to sell ourselves. A picture and a paragraph, multiple can be accumulated and made easily ready for distribution.
    • Should we open this to all AGS members?
    • Do we need a leadership change?
    • Lots of groups contributing to arthropod genome sequencing efforts - all groups have something to do with arthropods, yet we’re not coordinating much. ERGA, DtoL, Beenome, Ag100Pest, Beetles, …
      • What is our niche in this context? Should we be the group that unites them all? If so, are we engaging the right communities?
      • We could encourage members of each group to participate in the i5k cc meetings and contribute to our direction
    • We should firm up our new definition/vision in the next couple of months
    • What is our identity, our brand?
      • send a more inclusive message by re-thinking what we call ourselves. We need to be more clear about who we are. Should we change our name?
      • we can do far more than just document what’s in a genome. What are we producing beyond this? Should we be more involved in what genomes are used for once reference-quality genomes have been produced?
        • Anna: Producing the genomes used to be hard, now it isn’t and so I agree we need to have a bigger vision than just producing genomes to what we will do with those genomes
        • Mike: I agree. In the beginning the challenge was to get the genomes done. Now the challenge is to know what is out there and how to access the data in a smooth fashion for comparative studies.
        • Brad: True. Assembling genomes is now seen as “easy” or at least easier than then i5K was formed. Reflected in fact publishing a genome by itself is not as accessible based on journal requirements as 10 years: application and impact is needed. Akin to transcriptomes where where once publishable by themselves.
      • We need to pivot from where we started ~20 years ago
      • What is our vision and mission statement?
  • Discuss format and agenda of the i5k lunch during AGS – a possible venue for brainstorming and collecting feedback on the ideas listed on the next page
    • Not sure that we’re set up for a hybrid lunch. Mike will check whether setup is possible; then we could discuss logistics. General sentiment is that we should at least try hybrid. Some virtual attendees said they’d be okay with this if there was follow-up, some recording.
    • We could instead have an alternative virtual lunch with the same prompts, and coalesce the thoughts later (e.g. in the i5k cc meeting). Brad or Chris could help coordinate/facilitate. We can decide on this once we have a decision on the hybrid setup
    • What outcomes do we want from this meeting (and the visioning exercise as a whole)?
    • We will have another planning meeting next Wednesday for the lunch - Sharon will send an invitation.

NEXT MEETING: June 15, 2022: canceled due to AGS

Ideas for How to Re-vision i5K Coordinating Group

  • What is i5K role in light of new mass sequencing efforts?
  • How does i5K CG relate to the greater i5K community?
  • Open up meetings to all i5K=AGS members? If so, what are the responsibilities of i5K CG members?

Get Input:

- i5K CG Brainstorming
- AGS Lunch Brainstorming: In-person or Hybrid
- Series of Informative i5K-associated Group Presentations with Feedback from the i5K SC members

- Ag100Pest (Anna)
- Beenome100 (Jay)
- Beetle (Duane)
- Cornome (Brad, Jay, Jon)
- DToL (Mark)
- GEvol-Germany (Kristen)
- i5K@NAL (Monica, Chris)
- Leps (Marian)
- Others, e.g., GIGA, GAGA, ERGA

I5K Activities/Roles for i5K Coordinating Group

  • Technical Seminar Series, e.g., PacBio, Nanopore; topics such as pangenomes (e.g., Justin Vaughn)
  • Topical Seminar Series, e.g., AGSX
  • Comparative Genomics: new models for making the best of core resources
  • Share datasets (within and between taxa)
  • Training: work
  • Maintain databases, or share them: e.g., GOAT, NCBI
  • Set/elevate standards
  • Free resources: i5K Workspace
  • Partnerships
  • Funding: joint funding initiatives; build gravitas to funding agencies; uniting bug folks across countries/organizations