SIB News

Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species

The Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence all eukaryotic species. This superkingdom of life includes all organisms except bacteria and archaea.

An international consortium of scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all known eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth. Of those, the team proposes sequencing 1.5 million.

The proposed initiative, described in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, would require the cooperation of governments, scientists, citizen scientists and students from around the globe. The authors of the proposal compare it to the Human Genome Project, an international scientific research project from 1990 to 2006 that cost roughly $4.8 billion in today’s dollars and generated an estimated return-on-investment ratio of 141-to-1.

Read the full article at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Publication Date: 04/25/2018
Photo credits: Mirhee Lee
Editor: Diana Yates