The Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea pilot and the Kilo Microbial Genomes project demonstrated that strain selection to maximize sequence coverage of phylogenetic space is of tremendous help in discovering new protein families, facilitating metagenome interpretation and identifying numerous biosynthetic clusters. It also reinforced the notion that isolate sequence space is far from saturated. The newly sequenced genomes obtained in these projects will be used in several ways. First, as the targeted strains will represent those groups that lack sufficient coverage but are abundant in metagenomic data sets, their binning will be redone at the JGI once a sufficient number of new sequences have been obtained. Second, the strains will be incorporated into robust whole-genome phylogenies together with already genome-sequenced ones. Third, these phylogenies will be used for large-scale genome-based reclassifications according to the principles of phylogenetic systematics. Fourth, using the genomic information improved characterizations will be provided for the strains under study and incorporated in the publications. Last but not least, large-scale correlation studies between habitats and genomic characters on the one hand and between genomic characters on the other hand will be conducted.
Proposer: Markus Göker, DSMZ (Germany)