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sector_ico_Environment_trans Environment

Time Resolved Community Genomics of Subarctic Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zones

  • Project Leaders: Steve Hallam
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $432375
  • Program/Competition: Strategic Opportunities Fund
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

This project seeks to understand the oceanic microbial communities and the effect these have on oxygen concentrations in the oceans’ “dead zones”; a critical element to understanding the impact of climate change on the productivity of BC marine systems. Researchers will chart the genomic diversity of microbial communities found in subarctic Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) in relation to dissolved gas and nutrient concentrations over time. The research will identify and describe the key microbial players and biochemical pathways contributing to carbon and nitrogen metabolism within the subarctic Pacific Ocean. This work will provide a solid comparative genomic foundation for understanding the biogeochemical processes at work in marine OMZs around the globe.  The sequence data generated through this project enabled the investigators to more accurately identify relevant indicator genes associated with nutrient and energy conversion processes or response to environmental perturbation. Such indicators will be used at the VENUS cabled observatory in Saanich Inlet as part of a CFI funded expansion of the observatory. Marine monitoring technology development represents a breakout area for innovation in the province, with direct application to open and closed aquaculture systems, fisheries management, risk assessment and environmental stewardship