The DOE JGI launched The Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) project in 2007 as a pilot study with the objective of sequencing about 170 bacterial and archaeal genomes. In 2011 and 2012, the project was extended through the Community Sequencing Program, first to sequence 250 genomes and then, through the Genomic Encyclopedia of Type Strains, Phase I: the one thousand microbial genomes (KMG) project, to 1,250 genomes. The major goals of the GEBA/KMG project were (i) to provide evidence to support the use of the phylogenetic diversity of organisms in the tree of life as a primary criterion for generating their genome sequence, (ii) to develop the necessary framework, technology and organization for large-scale sequencing of microbial isolate genomes, and (iii) to cover as much as possible of the genomic diversity in the microbial part of the tree of life. Phase II of the project shifts from coverage of general phylogenetic diversity to the generation of complete clusters of all the type strains in selected Genera. The availability of complete sets of reference genomes will enable researchers to move towards a more genome-centric description of novel species, with a fraction of the targeted strains in this phase allocated to the type strains of putative new species that are already maintained in the holdings of various culture collections, but not yet validly named.
PI: Markus Goker, DSMZ, Germany