Australian Microbiome Framework Data Initiative
Australia is a vast continent that comprises a varied range of terrestrial environments with rich coastal and marine regions. These ecological systems are supported by communities of microbes that, despite being invisible to the naked eye, are the hidden force behind many events impacting both the environment and living organisms.
Microbes are fundamental to human and environmental ecosystem health. They underpin the majority of processes on Earth from mediating global biogeochemical cycling to being responsible for diseases and their treatment.
The mission of the Australian Microbiome (AM) project is to develop a comprehensive, publicly-accessible database of microbial diversity across a geographically expansive and diverse range of Australian terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The AM database will deliver searchable information on the occurrence and distribution of potential microbiological resources, collated into a searchable public database that will allow researchers and other end-users to address a broad variety of questions in microbial ecology.
By providing unprecedented access to environmental microbiological information across the Australian land- and sea-scape, the AM project will enable large spatial and temporal- scale examinations of ecosystem function, biogeochemistry, bio-discovery, within natural Australian habitats.
The initiative aims to develop an Australian microbial genomics resource for management, monitoring, and R&D purposes. The consortium efforts will:
- Sustain and strengthen the Australian environmental microbial genomic resource
- Engage a broad range of end users and improve collaboration between researchers in different research fields
- Enhance functionality to allow translation of the resource for applied outcomes (to broad range of end-users and uses) and foster innovative research
The Australian Microbiome Initiative is an Australian wide collaboration founded on two established Bioplatforms Australia framework data initiatives: Marine Microbes and Biomes of Australian Soil Environments (BASE). The consortium involves researchers from more than 40 institutions supported by four founding partners.
This nationally-inclusive and collaborative initiative supported by core partners Bioplatforms Australia and the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) through the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), Parks Australia through the Bush Blitz program funded by the Australian Government and BHP, and the CSIRO, and led by researchers from various organisations across Australia.