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Competence Center – Blueprint

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Blueprint Competence Center

A principal aim of the BONUS Blueprint project has been to demonstrate that environmental status/condition and dominant biogeochemical pathways can be deduced from the biodiversity and genetic functional profiles of microbes, the blueprint, in a seawater sample. Gene sequences obtained from cruises and experiments in the Baltic Sea were correlated with environmental conditions, documenting a coupling and the proof of concept that environmental conditions can be predicted from microbial genes (D4.3 Report on signature genes for environmental status diagnosis).

A future ambition is the transfer and integration of new microbial descriptors into existing monitoring procedures. For BONUS Blueprint to facilitate this process several aspects had to be considered right from the beginning because for any kind of monitoring standardized and evaluated procedures are essential to guarantee comparability of data gained. Consequently, within the virtual BLUEPRINT Competence Center (BCC) these different aspects were integrated. The outcome is a standardized, verified, and manageable prototype that can be adapted for microbe-based monitoring. It consists of a detailed protocol on sample acquisition, nucleic acids extraction, sequencing, analysis and costs (D6.2 Detailed work flow report and popular article on BCC and indicators). Moreover, a publicly available database for analyzing acquired sequences has been produced (https://barm.scilifelab.se/).

An Information brief link on the potential of extensive gene sequencing in marine monitoring exemplified through the work within the BONUS Blueprint project is available along with a popular article in the Projects magazine journal.