DEVOTES @ Ocean Sampling Day

A Worldwide Scientific Adventure for Biodiversity:
The Ocean Sampling Day, a Global Event for Sequencing the Oceans


On June 21 2014 a worldwide sampling campaign of microbial life within marine surface water was successfully within the framework of Micro B3’s Ocean Sampling Day (OSD).

It encompassed  185 marine research locations from Iceland to Antarctica and from Moorea (French Polynesia) via the Americas to South Africa including  9 DEVOTES partners.



OSD_CefasTeam RV Cefas Endeavour was carrying out a survey in the Folkestone Pomeria Marine Conservation Zone, as part of their data and evidence collection program. On Ocean Sampling Day, June 21st 2014, Sophie Pitois collected samples for bacteria, phyto and zooplankton analyses.“We would like to thank particularly the scientist in charge Paul Whomersley and the rest of the crew for their help and their enthusiasm to join the event during this beautiful day in the Eastern Channel.” Bacteria samples will be shortly sent to the Max Plank Institute in Bremen, while other samples will be analysed at Cefas and the data shared with the other OSD partners. CEFAS Team
 deu-osd Marine scientists from the Dokuz Eylül University participated in the international Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) to collect environmental and biological data for analysis of microbial diversity and function in marine ecosystems around the world.Click here to watch the video of DEU activity on Ocean Sampling Day

Background on OSD

With the advent of Next Generation Sequencing techniques (NGS) scientists worldwide have started to “Sequence the Oceans”. In the recent past, scientists have been overwhelmed by the extremely large amount of data available through NGS. They tantalizingly point towards unknown organisms and species and many novel gene functions. Only through standardized methods for sampling, shipping, data transfer and based on bioinformatics support, can valid information be generated. This approach is of key importance for predictions and comparisons of both known and unknown genes and their products for innovative ecological knowledge and potential biotechnological applications.

The novel Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) concept was designed within the EU-funded project Micro B3 to facilitate a global, coordinated, standardised campaign in marine data collection. Until now the downstream analysis methods used in this field did not always enable easy interpretation and comparisons. OSD pilot sampling activities (four held to date) have shown that this new approach is generating an exciting set of new and fully standardized data from sampling to sequencing, analysis and annotation of gene functions.

In the months after the OSD DNA from the marine microbial communities thriving in the world’s oceans and populating our surface waters at the sampled sites will be sequenced. This will be done according to standard operating procedures (SOP) for biodiversity bioinformatics, and also to find out about unknown functional genes. Environmental data, some of them captured with help from citizen scientists (, will be integrated for these purposes through the Micro B3 Information System. All data, once validated and quality controlled, will become publicly available.

Because of unresolved intellectual property issues (IPR) – i.e. who owns the microbes and their genetic information as well as who obtains access to the resulting data, databases, genetic material and knowledge – a number of novel legal and policy recommendations have been developed and are now being tested. The aim during this worldwide OSD campaign is to obtain final proof-of-principle for their long-term applicability.  The Micro B3 set of model agreements and data policy will enable better access and benefit sharing of the new standards, methods and knowledge generated to enhance better understanding of the marine environment and its potential for biotechnological applications.

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