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NCGR Undertakes Marine Microbe Sequencing Project

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Center for Genome Resources and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) have partnered to sequence the transcriptomes of hundreds of marine microbes in an effort to create a genetic catalogue that researchers could use to study these creatures and their roles in ocean ecosystems.

NCGR said today that it plans to sequence the transcriptomes of around 750 marine eukaryotes with complex cellular and genomic structures, which, despite their abundance in the ocean have not been studied as intensively as bacteria and viruses.

The goal of this program is to boost the research community's baseline scientific knowledge of these eukaryotes by creating catalogues of genes that show how these microbes live in diverse habitats and how they influence marine ecosystems and, by absorbing carbon dioxide, the atmosphere. The catalogues also could improve metagenomics analyses of complex microbial communities, NCGR noted.

Nominations for the transcriptome sequencing will be solicited this month through the efforts of GBMF's Marine Microbiology Initiative, and the work will be conducted by NCGR over the next 18 months.

"This project is poised to 'break a barrier' in the field of marine microbial eukaryote ecology and evolution while simultaneously generating vast amounts of new knowledge," GBMF's Chief Program Officer for Science Vicki Chandler noted.

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