DDBJ is one of the three members of INSDC: “International Nucleotide Sequence Databases Collaboration”, collaborating with EMBL-Bank at EBI in Europe and GenBank at NCBI in USA. The three databanks collaborated to construct the Internatilnal Nucleotide Sequence Database for more than 20 years.

To operate and implement the collaborative construction of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database, the three databanks hold the International Collaborators Meeting (ICM) every year, since the 1st ICM in Heidelberg, Germany in July, 1988. ICM is held annually rotating the host bank among the three, and the 21st one will be held at the National Institute of Genetics from May20 to 22, 2008.

Thanks to modern digital technologies, quite a few video conferences are organized for international communication and discussion, namely, attendees join the virtual meeting at their office or even at home. But, at an ICM meeting, members of the three banks meet “face-to-face”, and discuss various issues at the same place for three whole days. This is one of the secrets why INSDC has been successful for 2 decades.

The ICM have always spotlighted the topics which reflect the progress of research and development in biology. Consequently, many important topics were decided at the past meetings.
They include the abolishment of the length limitation of a submitted sequence, Whole Genome Shotgum(WGS) and Third Party Annotation(TPA) data submissions, establishment of new divisions of sequences such as CON, GSS and ENV, and others. The non-protein coding sequence is one of the recent issues.
Following the decision at an ICM the common annotation manual among the three banks, Feature Table Definition Document (FT-Doc) is updated every year.

The preparation of the agenda items of the 21st ICM is in progress now. Almost 10 days from now, intensive discussion will begin at NIG, Mishima.

  • INSDC website: http://www/insdc.org/
  • The DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank Feature Table Definition: http:/www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/FT/full_index.html
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