Research

Earth Biogenome Project

A global partnership to sequence the genomes of all lifeforms so we can better understand and harness biodiversity

Project Summary.

Led by: Seanna McTaggart - Programme Manager

Start date: 2019

End date: 2022

Funding: Wellcome Trust and BBSRC

Our planet is home to an astounding range of lifeforms, collectively described as biodiversity.

Those millions of species, and the ecosystems they inhabit, are crucial for cycling crucial nutrients, providing us with food, medicines, fuel and materials, and generating the oxygen in the air we breathe. However, climate change and human activity are negatively impacting biodiversity at an alarming rate.

A greater understanding of Earth’s biodiversity and the responsible stewarding of its resources are among the most crucial scientific and social challenges of the new millennium. Overcoming these challenges requires a deep understanding of the genetic diversity and population dynamics of life on Earth. One way to investigate these topics is through genome analysis, which allows a wide range of scientific questions to be answered. 

The Earth Biogenome Project (EBP) is a global consortium whose ambitious long-term goal is to produce high quality (chromosome level) genome assemblies for all eukaryotic life on the planet.

Impact statement.

This global project aims to sequence the genome of every living eukaryote species - animal, plant, fungus and protist - on Earth. Genomes provide a critical foundation in an increasingly data-rich world, allowing scientists to explore a wide range of interesting scientific topics, including addressing fundamental questions about the origin, evolution and maintenance of biodiversity, how to conserve, restore and protect the globe’s biota, and to harness biodiversity to benefit society and human welfare.