The i5K initiative: Advancing arthropod genomics for knowledge, human health, agriculture, and the environment

Jay D. Evans, Susan J. Brown, Kevin J.J. Hackett, Gene Robinson, Stephen Richards, Daniel Lawson, Christine Elsik, Jonathan Coddington, Owain Edwards, Scott Emrich, Toni Gabaldon, Marian Goldsmith, Glenn Hanes, Bernard Misof, Monica Muñoz-Torres, Oliver Niehuis, Alexie Papanicolaou, Michael Pfrender, Monica Poelchau, Mary Purcell-MiramontesHugh M. Robertson, Oliver Ryder, Denis Tagu, Tatiana Torres, Evgeny Zdobnov, Guojie Zhang, Xin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Insects and their arthropod relatives including mites, spiders, and crustaceans play major roles in the world's terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. Arthropods compete with humans for food and transmit devastating diseases. They also comprise the most diverse and successful branch of metazoan evolution, with millions of extant species. Here, we describe an international effort to guide arthropod genomic efforts, from species prioritization to methodology and informatics. The 5000 arthropod genomes initiative (i5K) community met formally in 2012 to discuss a roadmap for sequencing and analyzing 5000 high-priority arthropods and is continuing this effort via pilot projects, the development of standard operating procedures, and training of students and career scientists. With university, governmental, and industry support, the i5K Consortium aspires to deliver sequences and analytical tools for each of the arthropod branches and each of the species having beneficial and negative effects on humankind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-600
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • agriculture
  • comparative genomics
  • disease vector
  • genome sequencing
  • insect evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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