National Center for Genome Resources Release: Sequencing Project Aims to Uncover New Knowledge About Ocean Microeukaryotes

Published: Nov 10, 2010

SANTA FE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s (GBMF) Marine Microbiology Initiative (MMI) today announced a new research program to sequence the transcriptomes of approximately 750 marine microbial eukaryotes. Whereas previous community resource sequencing efforts supported by MMI have focused on marine bacteria and viruses, this project targets an extraordinarily diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms that have more complex cellular and genomic structures. Like their bacterial and archaeal relatives, marine eukaryotic microbes are single-celled organisms, but, at the cellular level, they share some features of plants and animals; in particular, they have a nucleus containing their genetic material, which is packaged into chromosomes. These organisms span a range of lifestyles, from diatoms, one of many single-celled “plants” at the base of the oceanic food web that fix a large quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide, to dinoflagellates, a group having features of both animals and plants and that may feed on other microbes in seawater.

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