METAECOProject reference: 327697
Funded under :
Analysing the Impact of Global Climate Change on Ecosystems: A Cross-Scale Metatranscriptomics Approach
Total cost:EUR 278 045,1
EU contribution:EUR 278 045,1
Topic(s):FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IOF - Marie Curie Action: "International Outgoing Fellowships for Career Development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IOFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)
"Some of the most pressing problems facing mankind today relate to the consequences of global climate change (GCC). To date, most studies of GCC have focused on plants and animals while downplaying the role of microorganisms. However, microbial activity in the soil is responsible for some of the most fundamental processes such as decomposition and nitrogen fixation. It is not known if the composition of microorganisms in the ecosystem is altered by GCC, or how the functionality of the ecosystem is affected. It is obvious, however, that this can have huge consequences. We propose to take a more fundamental look at the effects of GCC by including the microbial ecosystem component.
We will investigate the effects of three important factors on microbial ecosystems: Rising temperatures, use of nitrogen containing fertilisers, and plant invasion. Through state-of-the-art sequencing technologies combined with cutting edge bioinformatics tools, we will investigate transcription under varying conditions. From this we will not only describe the composition of organisms but the actual metabolic activities. This will be combined with data on plants and herbivores in the same systems, leading to a whole new understanding of GCC and move the field from the descriptive to the quantifiable.
The group has unique access to an existing field study measuring the effects of temperature, nitrogen addition and plant invasion. We will perform metatranscriptomics analysis on the RNA present in the soil using next generation sequencing. This will yield massive datasets describing the ecosystems under different conditions. Through the use of bioinformatics we will be able to infer the diversity of organisms, describe transcription activity, and combine these novel findings with higher level interactions involving plants, herbivores and parasites. This study will be important both scientifically, politically, and economically. Thus, it is of great benefit for the EU to be involved."
EU contribution: EUR 278 045,1