Date: July 16, 2021
Time: 16:00 h CET
Speaker: Harris Lewin, University of California Davis
Organizer: PRBB-CRG Sessions; Roderic Guigó
November 2021 will mark three years since the official launch of the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), an international network-of-networks that aims to sequence and annotate the genomes of all currently known eukaryotic species in 10 years. During this period, the project has grown to include 43 member institutions and 48 independent affiliated projects coordinating under the EBP umbrella. The EBP members have chosen an inclusive governance structure that promotes international collaboration and the creation of standards for sample collection, sample processing, genome sequencing and assembly, annotation, information technology and informatics, and data analysis. EBP committees focus on communications and public relations, ethical, legal and social issues, and recommendations to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice. EBP affiliated projects and sequencing nodes are now producing reference-quality genomes at a pace to complete the Phase I goal of sequencing at least one representative species of all ~9,400 eukaryotic taxonomic families in the next three years. Despite this early progress, the project still faces many challenges in achieving Phase II (all genera) and Phase III (all remaining species) in the 10-year timeframe. Overcoming these hurdles is imperative and will lead to advances that will address significant global challenges, such as mitigating the effects of climate change on biodiversity and agriculture, conserving endangered species, achieving pandemic preparedness, and identifying new sources of food, medicine and biomaterials to drive a sustainable bioeconomy. These benchmarks are cause for optimism among the more than 5,000 highly motivated scientists and technical staff worldwide that are now participating in the EBP. My talk will reflect on my personal journey as EBP co-founder and review the progress of the EBP and its Affiliated Projects since the project’s inception. I will also present some important scientific questions that can be addressed by sequencing all eukaryotes and will discuss the major challenges facing the EBP on the horizon.
More information may be found in the following link.