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Stand Genomic Sci. 2015 May 8;10:20. doi: 10.1186/s40793-015-0001-5. eCollection 2015.

Marine microbial biodiversity, bioinformatics and biotechnology (M2B3) data reporting and service standards.

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European Nucleotide Archive, EMBL-EBI, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK.
PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science, MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, Universität Bremen, Hochschulring 18 (Cognium), Bremen, POP 330 440, 28359, Germany.
Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbial Ecology, Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Group, Celsiusstr. 1, Bremen, 28359, Germany.
Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbial Ecology, Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Group, Celsiusstr. 1, Bremen, 28359, Germany ; Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH, Campusring 1, Bremen, 28759, Germany.
Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC), University of Oxford, 7Keble Road, Oxford, UK.
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee, InnovOcean site, Wandelaarkaai 7, Oostende, B-8400, Belgium.
IFREMER-Centre de BREST, IDM/SISMER, ZI de la Pointe du Diable, Plouzane, CS 10070, 29280, France.
MARIS BV, Koningin Julianalaan 345 A 2273 JJ, Voorburg, The Netherlands.
Environmental and Evolutionary Genomics Section, Institut de Biologie de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS), CNRS UMR8197 Inserm U1024, Paris, 75005, France.


Contextual data collected concurrently with molecular samples are critical to the use of metagenomics in the fields of marine biodiversity, bioinformatics and biotechnology. We present here Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (M2B3) standards for "Reporting" and "Serving" data. The M2B3 Reporting Standard (1) describes minimal mandatory and recommended contextual information for a marine microbial sample obtained in the epipelagic zone, (2) includes meaningful information for researchers in the oceanographic, biodiversity and molecular disciplines, and (3) can easily be adopted by any marine laboratory with minimum sampling resources. The M2B3 Service Standard defines a software interface through which these data can be discovered and explored in data repositories. The M2B3 Standards were developed by the European project Micro B3, funded under 7(th) Framework Programme "Ocean of Tomorrow", and were first used with the Ocean Sampling Day initiative. We believe that these standards have value in broader marine science.


Biodiversity; Bioinformatics; Data standard; Interoperability; Marine; Microbial; Molecular; Reporting

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