Microbial genomics amidst the Arctic crisis

Edwards, A., Cameron, K. , Cook, J. M., Debbonaire, A. R., Furness, E., Hay, M. C. and Rassner, S. M.E. (2020) Microbial genomics amidst the Arctic crisis. Microbial Genomics, 6(5), e000375. (doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000375) (PMID:32392124) (PMCID:PMC7371112)

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The Arctic is warming – fast. Microbes in the Arctic play pivotal roles in feedbacks that magnify the impacts of Arctic change. Understanding the genome evolution, diversity and dynamics of Arctic microbes can provide insights relevant for both fundamental microbiology and interdisciplinary Arctic science. Within this synthesis, we highlight four key areas where genomic insights to the microbial dimensions of Arctic change are urgently required: the changing Arctic Ocean, greenhouse gas release from the thawing permafrost, 'biological darkening' of glacial surfaces, and human activities within the Arctic. Furthermore, we identify four principal challenges that provide opportunities for timely innovation in Arctic microbial genomics. These range from insufficient genomic data to develop unifying concepts or model organisms for Arctic microbiology to challenges in gaining authentic insights to the structure and function of low-biomass microbiota and integration of data on the causes and consequences of microbial feedbacks across scales. We contend that our insights to date on the genomics of Arctic microbes are limited in these key areas, and we identify priorities and new ways of working to help ensure microbial genomics is in the vanguard of the scientific response to the Arctic crisis.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This review is the product of countless conversations between the authors within our lab meetings and in field camps and stations across the Arctic, principally supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (grants NE/K000942/1, NE/S1001034/1), the Leverhulme Trust (grant RF-2017–652\2), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) grant (agreement no. 663830), the MSCA Innovative Training Network MicroArctic (project number 675546), the Microsoft/ National Geographic AI4Earth programme, the Life Sciences Research Network for Wales,
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cameron, Dr Karen
Authors: Edwards, A., Cameron, K., Cook, J. M., Debbonaire, A. R., Furness, E., Hay, M. C., and Rassner, S. M.E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Microbial Genomics
Publisher:Microbiology Society
ISSN (Online):2057-5858
Published Online:11 May 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Microbial Genomics 6(5): e000375
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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