In November 2009, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will initiate funding to College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole to begin a project entitled “Exploring Diversity and Distribution of Deep Life”.
The project objective is to characterize diversity of deep life in continental and marine environments using deep DNA sequencing technology. The project will develop profiles of microbial communities from existing continental deep subsurface and marine samples and from new samples collected under pristine and non-pristine conditions. Samples will be solicited for deep sequencing analyses from investigators who study deep life and a “user-meeting” to discuss results of the deep life molecular studies will be sponsored. The project will leverage existing infrastructure for DNA sequencing and analysis through the web site VAMPS (Visual Analysis of Microbial Population Structures). The initial studies will identify sites suitable for future investigation of biological contributions to the carbon cycle through “shotgun” metagenomic studies and through molecular microbial ecology. An expected outcome is a heightened appreciation of the importance of microbes in studies of deep life and their potential contribution to deep carbon cycling. For more information contact Rick Colwell at OSU (email@example.com
541-737-5220) or Mitch Sogin at MBL firstname.lastname@example.org