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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Apr 24;115(17):4325-4333. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1720115115.

Earth BioGenome Project: Sequencing life for the future of life.

Author information

1
Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; Lewin@ucdavis.edu.
2
Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
3
The John Muir Institute of the Environment, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
4
The University of California, Davis Genome Center, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
5
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Department of Entomology, and Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801.
6
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013.
7
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, United Kingdom.
8
Computational Biology Institute, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052.
9
Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB10 1SA, United Kingdom.
10
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge CB10 1SA, United Kingdom.
11
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.
12
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.
13
Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
14
University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
15
Department of Health Policy and Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052.
16
US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.
17
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
18
Agricultural Research Center, US Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705.
19
UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.
20
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.
21
Laboratory of Neurogenetics of Language, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065.
22
Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Front Royal, VA 22630.
23
Novim Group, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106.
24
Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.
25
World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Environment and Natural Resource Security, Cologny/Geneva CH-1223, Switzerland.
26
Space Time Ventures, São Paulo, SP, 05449-050, Brazil.
27
Departmento de Botanica, Instituto de Biociencia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP 05508-090, Brazil.
28
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), SP 05468-901, Brazil.
29
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.
30
China National Genebank, BGI-Shenzhen, 518083 Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
31
BGI-Shenzhen, 518083 Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
32
Section for Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
33
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 650223 Kunming, China.

Abstract

Increasing our understanding of Earth's biodiversity and responsibly stewarding its resources are among the most crucial scientific and social challenges of the new millennium. These challenges require fundamental new knowledge of the organization, evolution, functions, and interactions among millions of the planet's organisms. Herein, we present a perspective on the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a moonshot for biology that aims to sequence, catalog, and characterize the genomes of all of Earth's eukaryotic biodiversity over a period of 10 years. The outcomes of the EBP will inform a broad range of major issues facing humanity, such as the impact of climate change on biodiversity, the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems, and the preservation and enhancement of ecosystem services. We describe hurdles that the project faces, including data-sharing policies that ensure a permanent, freely available resource for future scientific discovery while respecting access and benefit sharing guidelines of the Nagoya Protocol. We also describe scientific and organizational challenges in executing such an ambitious project, and the structure proposed to achieve the project's goals. The far-reaching potential benefits of creating an open digital repository of genomic information for life on Earth can be realized only by a coordinated international effort.

KEYWORDS:

access and benefit sharing; biodiversity; data science; genome sequencing; genomics

PMID:
29686065
PMCID:
PMC5924910
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1720115115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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