Considered one of the largest biomes on Earth, the dark ocean is comprised of the water column below the epipelagic, including meso-, bathy- and abyssopelagic and the hadal zones. It contains an active and metabolically diverse microbial assemblage that is responsible for about half of marine organic carbon mineralization. A large-scale single cell genomics study of planktonic prokaryotes from this enormous, understudied dark realm of the ocean (below 200 m) would support multiple, ongoing research projects and will provide unique reference material for the broad community of marine microbiologists. Researchers expect the data will provide extensive information about the gene content, metabolic potential, and population structure of many of the predominant dark-ocean microbial groups. It is also expected to significantly facilitate the identification and binning of metagenomic, metranscriptomic and metaproteomic data generated by this and other studies of the dark ocean and further advance the refining and scaling-up of single cell genomics technology.
PI: Stepanauskas, Ramunas