Bioinformatics of ecosystem structure - Task 5.1
This task aims at characterizing the functional and taxonomic structures of plankton ecosystems and acquiring new biological knowledge from the OCEANOMICS datasets.
This work is divided into 3 approaches:
- Community composition and ecosystem classification
The species composition of the samples, revealed by microscopic and genetic data analysis (working groups n°3 and 4), is statistically compared to functional and oceanographic parameters (see task 4.3 and working group n°2 respectively) to obtain an objective eco-morpho-genetic classification of plankton communities. Taxonomic data will also help thoroughly define the ecosystem classification.
- Activities of the communities
The metatranscriptomic sequences mapped on metagenomes or reference genomes (protists, metazoans, SAGs) are studied to identify gene expression within different ecosystems. This is interpreted in terms of contribution levels for different taxa in the functional activity of the associated ecosystems.
- New genes of fundamental and biotechnological interest
Preliminary studies show that the data sets contain an impressive number of unknown genes. Phylogenomic data are explored to identify these new genes or new subfamilies within already known genes. Their abundance and geographic distribution are characterized, as well as their potential hosts. A particular attention is paid to lipid metabolism and biosynthesis pathways of secondary metabolites due to their fundamental interest and the related potential biotechnological applications.