Title

Why and How to Sequence All Eukaryotic Genomes on the Planet

Start

2-25-2022 10:30 AM

End

2-25-2022 10:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Genomes, the complete hereditary material or DNA within an organism, underpin all of the biodiversity of our rich planet. In recent weeks, we have noted the passing of two academic champions of biological diversity (biodiversity) research: EO Wilson and Thomas Lovejoy. In the spirit their pioneering footsteps to illuminate the Earth’s biodiversity, the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) has set its sights to sequence the genomes of all extant, named eukaryotes, encompassing about 2 million species, at the highest quality possible to produce a digital library of life on Earth, beginning with strategic phylogenetic, ecological, and high-impact priorities. Although microorganisms are abundant everywhere, eukaryotes display a wide and stunning assortment of phenotypic and morphological diversity and an array of adaptations and innovations at the macroscale. Eukaryota include single cellular algae, protists and fungi to plants, and animals. Thus, eukaryotes compose one of three “Domain” on the Tree of Life, and of course include our own primate species. To accomplish this ambitious sequencing project or genetic “moonshot”, the EBP launched in 2018 by first creating a “network of networks”. The consortium has teamed with existing genome initiatives such as Genomes 10K, Vertebrate Genome Project, Darwin Tree of Life, and the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance etc. More recently, the EBP has published a collection of PNAS papers that help describe in detail the wide range of related subjects and milestones required to accomplish the primary goal (see https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2115635118). These papers reflect the overall EBP rationale, strategies, and the efforts of dedicated working groups who focused on setting high sequence data standards, ethics, diversity and inclusion guidelines, and addressing indigenous and sovereign nation concerns etc. These thoughtful initiatives will have ramifications touching phylogenetics, evolution, ecology, conservation, agriculture, bioindustry, and medicine.

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Feb 25th, 10:30 AM Feb 25th, 10:45 AM

Why and How to Sequence All Eukaryotic Genomes on the Planet

Genomes, the complete hereditary material or DNA within an organism, underpin all of the biodiversity of our rich planet. In recent weeks, we have noted the passing of two academic champions of biological diversity (biodiversity) research: EO Wilson and Thomas Lovejoy. In the spirit their pioneering footsteps to illuminate the Earth’s biodiversity, the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) has set its sights to sequence the genomes of all extant, named eukaryotes, encompassing about 2 million species, at the highest quality possible to produce a digital library of life on Earth, beginning with strategic phylogenetic, ecological, and high-impact priorities. Although microorganisms are abundant everywhere, eukaryotes display a wide and stunning assortment of phenotypic and morphological diversity and an array of adaptations and innovations at the macroscale. Eukaryota include single cellular algae, protists and fungi to plants, and animals. Thus, eukaryotes compose one of three “Domain” on the Tree of Life, and of course include our own primate species. To accomplish this ambitious sequencing project or genetic “moonshot”, the EBP launched in 2018 by first creating a “network of networks”. The consortium has teamed with existing genome initiatives such as Genomes 10K, Vertebrate Genome Project, Darwin Tree of Life, and the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance etc. More recently, the EBP has published a collection of PNAS papers that help describe in detail the wide range of related subjects and milestones required to accomplish the primary goal (see https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2115635118). These papers reflect the overall EBP rationale, strategies, and the efforts of dedicated working groups who focused on setting high sequence data standards, ethics, diversity and inclusion guidelines, and addressing indigenous and sovereign nation concerns etc. These thoughtful initiatives will have ramifications touching phylogenetics, evolution, ecology, conservation, agriculture, bioindustry, and medicine.