About OSD

Introduction to Ocean Sampling Day (OSD)
As a multidisciplinary team of international scientists we are leading an open call to to participate in “Ocean Sampling Day” on the northern hemisphere summer solstice of 2014.  This simultaneous, sampling campaign of the world’s oceans will provide insights into fundamental rules describing microbial diversity and function and will contribute to the blue economy through the identification of novel, ocean-derived biotechnologies.
As a consortium we welcome participation in this event.  Further
details can be found at http://www.oceansamplingday.org
OSD is part of the EU-funded Micro B3 project ( http://www.microb3.eu/).

Summary Points

Date:  Summer Solstice (June 21st) in 2014
  • All partners with study sites  + open to interested labs
  • Open call to select best additional sites for small OSD grants
  • Experiment to be done using agreed-upon best practices
  • All sites expected to conform to the minimum information checklists of Genomic Standards Consortium for describing metagenomic samples
  • Subsequent data analysis, integration and exploitation as use cases for technology and legal framework developed within MicroB3
  • Interactions with other megasequencing projects, in particular EMP, will further help to develop approaches and standards on an international scale

Towards realizing the vision of Ocean Sampling Day
The vision of the OSD project is to bring together an international network of researchers and premier marine labs to undertake the extensive characterization of microbes across the world’s oceans.  This project will build on past efforts including the Global Ocean Survey, the International Census of Marine Microbes and Tara Oceans, among other projects.

Pilot OSD Study - June 20, 2012
As part of the run up to the official Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) on June 21, 2014 solstice) we are running pilot OSD studies to help establish the co-ordination (creation of the OSD Network), logistics (sampling, shipping, data access), bioinformatics (metadata capture, analysis, data exchange and storage) and policies (data policy for OSD, ABS/MTA) required to run the 2014 main event.  These pilot studies will take place on the solstices prior to 2014. The first pilot study will take place on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 (solstice).  

This Micro B3 pilot OSD study is being put together in collaboration with the Genomic Observatories Network (GOs Network, http://www.genomicobservatories.org), the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP, (http://www.earthmicrobiome.org), and the Global Genome Initiative (GGI, http://www.mnh.si.edu/ggi/).

Why OSD will take place on the solstice
OSD will take place on the June 21, 2014, the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere for the following reason.  This date was selected based on the study of one of the best characterized marine sites in the world in terms of microbial diversity – the “L4” site in the Western Channel Observatory *.  Metagenomic work at L4 showed that over a six-year time period, microbial diversity predictably dips on the summer solstice and peaks on the winter solstice.

* Gilbert JA, Steele JA, Caporaso JG, Steinbrück L, Reeder J, Temperton B, Huse S, McHardy AC, Knight R, Joint I, Somerfield P, Fuhrman JA, Field D. (2012) Defining seasonal marine microbial community dynamics.ISME J. 2012 Feb;6(2):298-308. 

Ocean Sampling Day

Micro B3's WP2 is coordinating Ocean Sampling Day (OSD).
To ensure maximum usefulness of these samples this experiment will be done across all sites using agreed upon best practices developed within Micro B3 (WP 4, 5 and 6). This will ensure a high level of consistency between data points across Europe and beyond. In particular, all sites will be expected to confirm to the minimum information checklists of the Genomic Standards Consortium for describing metagenomic samples. This will ensure that contextual data, including geo-reference, date and time of sampling and a variety of environmental parameters, like temperature, depth, pH etc. are recorded and made available to the public.
In so many ways the ‘era of genomics’ is just beginning. What was unimaginable even a few short years ago, in terms of sequence throughput, is now possible and the resulting data are reshaping our understanding of the living world. The OSD will prove a milestone in the history of this rapidly developing field. These cumulative samples, related in time, space and environmental parameters, will contribute to determine a baseline of marine biodiversity and functions on the molecular level. We expect that these data will provide a reference data set for generations of experiments to follow in the coming decade. It could also function as starting point for regularly coordinated future OSDs.

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