Microbial communities play a fundamental role in oceanic ecosystems, as they - among other things - remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and are core elements of food webs.
A recent article, co-produced by Tara Ocean Foundation, Tara Oceans, EMBL and EMBRC-ERIC and published in Nature Microbiology, proposed a set of priorities for better understanding and protecting the ocean microbiome.
- Step 1 - Enabling ocean microbiome research
- Step 2 - Ocean literacy
- Step 3 - Composition and function of the ocean microbiome / Protect and monitor
The article especially highlights the importance of upgrading our ability to explore the ocean microbiome, resulting in an increase of knowledge concerning the impact of microbial communities on environmental and human health.
Exploring plankton data in Blue-Cloud
Authors have included Blue-Cloud in the list of repositories for ocean microbiome datasets, allowing researchers to interrogate environmental sequence data from both taxonomic and functional perspectives.
Researchers can now explore the dedicated Virtual Lab for plankton genomics research, exploiting datasets from the Tara Oceans expedition, easily accessible with existing credentials via the Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment.