The Future of Genomics in Biodiversity Research
Biodiversity research is becoming more and more dependent on 'omics technologies. Ever reducing sequencing costs will enable unprecedented digitization and understanding of the planet's biological heritage. As such, DNA sequences are increasingly the core components of both evolutionary theory and ecological investigations. These data are of limited value however unless contextualized in a phylogenetic* framework. Right now, we have genomic reference libraries for only a handful of model species. These model species (e.g. nematode, fruit fly, mouse) have provided valuable insight within all domains of biological studies. GGI intends to facilitate the rapid increase of model species across the Tree of Life. By creating a comprehensive reference collection of genomic samples that represent global biodiversity, GGI provides the templates to create the genomic scaffold for all life and the context of genetic expression for all species. Advances in the understanding of how complex structures in organisms are built, of how natural selection and adaptation occur, and of how ecosystems function all benefit from GGI's effort to lock down these digital blueprints during this period of global change.
* Phylogeny – the study of evolutionary relationships among all living things.
Taking the Lead to Safeguard Earth's Genomes
The genome of every organism contains information that may someday yield vital solutions to medical, environmental, energy, security, and agricultural problems. Our ability to realize these discoveries is not guaranteed. It is in fact threatened by habitat and species loss and by a lack of collaboration among the world's biorepositories and research organizations. The Global Genome Initiative aims to overcome these challenges and safeguard Earth's genomes for future biodiversity research by preserving the genomic diversity of life on Earth.
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