Reorganization plans for the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI)

ITMI was conceived as a five-year effort to develop RFLP maps for crops of Triticeae. It has been 11 years since ITMI was organized. At least two years ago, at the Clermont-Ferrand workshop it was suggested that ITMI review its current goals and structure, but to date, this has not been done. At the same time, subsequent ITMI workshops have introduced genomics and new tools for mapping and gene discovery. The original goal of producing RFLP maps in Triticeae has been largely met. While RFLP mapping may not need attention at this point, science has progressed to other areas that could benefit from international coordination. ITMI still seems to be a useful means to achieve international coordination.

The current coordinators recognize that reorganization at two levels is necessary: scientific issues and type of organization. Some issues that could benefit from international coordination were identified at a meeting of an informal working group comprised of representatives of several EST projects (Dundee, Scotland, May 2000) as reported by Peter Langridge to the Tenth ITMI Public Workshop. Other topics were proposed at the ITMI coordinators’ meeting at that workshop.

The coordinators present, 11 of the 15 current coordinators, agreed that ITMI goals and objectives need to be revisited with respect to the new scientific issues. It was left open whether the reorganization would be more effective if the name of the organization were changed. The alternative name with the most support at the Workshop was “International Triticeae Genomics Initiative”. The coordinators recommended the following process for defining the coordination activities and carrying out a reorganization:

  • The process should be guided by an Overall Planning Committee (OPC).
  • Each of the new coordination topics will be served by a coordinator and a workgroup. Size of workgroup would depend on the task. To get to this point, each topic was assigned to an individual planning chair, who will be responsible for developing the specifics of what should be coordinated and a structure for doing so. This person will call on other individuals and solicit coordination ideas from the general Triticeae genetic research community.
  • Each planning chair will recommend goals and objectives with a detailed workplan and suggest a coordinator and workgroup members to the OPC for that topic by December 1, 2000.
  • The OPC will review the recommendations and meet to finalize the plan at the Plant and Animal Genome IX in San Diego, January 2001 (PAG) prior to the ITMI Worksession.
  • The reorganization plan would be announced at the ITMI Worksession at PAG.
  • Coordinators would serve three-to-five-year terms, with potential reappointment. It is recommended that the succeeding Coordinator come from the corresponding Workgroup to aid in continuity.
  • As additional topic areas warrant ITMI coordination, they would be proposed and organized. A new Coordinator and Workgroup would be designated.
  • If a topic area no longer warrants ITMI coordination, it would be eliminated as an ITMI coordination topic.
  • This plan will be announced via GrainGenes and ITMI email lists to enable participation in the organizing process by other interested persons.

The new ITMI would thus have a new series of topics, each with a Coordinator and a Workgroup, and an overall Managing Coordinator.

It is projected that ITMI will continue to have two events per year: (1) The Worksession at PAG, featuring invited presentations on current topics and (2) the annual workshop at which the workgroups would assemble for planning and reporting.

C.O. Qualset and P.E. McGuire, as ITMI managing coordinator and assistant managing coordinator, respectively, of the University of Califoria Genetic Resources Conservation Program, will complete their service with the January 2001 meeting. Offers for a new management office and managing coordinator are anticipated. Primary duties of a management office will be serving as a contact point for ITMI and organizing the annual ITMI workshop. The responsibility for the organization of the ITMI Worksession at PAG will rotate among ITMI coordinators.

This page last updated June 20, 2000.
Copyright UC Regents. All rights reserved.