The genomic standards consortium: bringing standards to life for microbial ecology. Academic Article uri icon


  • Interest in sampling of diverse environments, combined with advances in high-throughput sequencing, vastly accelerates the pace at which new genomes and metagenomes are generated. For example, as of January 2011, 12 500 user-generated metagenomes have been submitted to the public MG-RAST Annotation server (http://metagenomics.; Meyer et al., 2008), 490% of which were produced using high-throughput sequencing methodologies. We have entered into an era of ‘mega-sequencing projects’ that include the Genomic Encyclopaedia of Bacteria and Archaea project (, the Microbial Earth Project (http://genome.jgi-psf. org/programs/bacteria-archaea/MEP/index.jsf), the Human Microbiome Project (http://nihroadmap.nih. gov/hmp), the Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract consortium (, the Terragenome Initiative (http://www.terragenome. org), the Tara Oceans Expedition (http://oceans., the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON-, the International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM-, Microbial Inventory Research Across Diverse Aquatic Long-Term Ecological Research Sites (http://amarallab.mbl. edu/mirada/mirada.html), the Earth Microbiome Project ( and other funded and unfunded projects, with many more visionary projects on the horizon.

publication date

  • October 2011