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March 2012
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New Research Coordination Network: TerreGenome

The microbial diversity involved in the functioning of soils remains a mystery, yet is likely the greatest reservoir of genetic potential on the planet. For example, the processes involved in cycling carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and other elements are key determinants of plant and ecosystem productivity, which in practical terms translates into producing food and fiber for humanity. Now that complete sequencing of soil metagenomes (the genomes of all microorganisms inhabiting a given soil environment) is possible, the NSF has funded a Research Coordination Network (RCN) called TerreGenome.

With strong international and interdisciplinary collaboration, the RCN was established to pursue the sequencing goal and to facilitate activities that will increase our knowledge and understanding of the soil metagenome. Led by an international group of scientists interested in soil metagenomics, including OSU’s David Myrold in CSS, the TerraGenome RCN will hold periodic meetings to plan strategies and share information, coordinate sequencing and bioinformatics activities, host workshops to train students and scientists in metagenomic analysis (see below under Conferences and Workshops), and enhance communication and information sharing through the TerraGenome website. Their poster, titled TerraGenome—The International Soil Metagenome Network, introduces the program and provides an outline of activities and structure. For more information or to share ideas, contact David Myrold.

In the News

Twenty-eight scientists, including Marty Fisk, professor in CEOAS, will use their knowledge of rock-eating microbes and subsurface life to assist with an exploratory mission to Mars. “One goal is to identify key samples of the rock and soil and identify those areas that might represent habitable environments,” Fisk said, “so that a future mission can select the right rocks to be returned to Earth.” Read more.

Upcoming Campus Events

Thursday, March 8 4:00-5:00pm. A Census of Deep Life: Exploring Microbial Diversity in the Earth's Subsurface (Geology Colloquium ). CEOAS Seminar with Rick Colwell. Held on campus at OSU Gilfillan Auditorium . FMI:

Let others in the SBI community know about your upcoming relevant seminars - email with details.

Conferences and Workshops

Wednesday, June 6 - Friday, June 8. Ocean Crust Processes and Consequences for Life (Dark Energy Biosphere Institute (DEBI) Research Coordination Network (RCN)). Theme: Processes in the ocean crust, from formation to subduction, and consequences for ocean-crust exchange budgets and subseafloor life. S Held at University of Bremen, Germany. FMI: Wolfgang Bach

Saturday, June 16 - Tuesday, June 19. American Society for Microbiology General Meeting. ASM's General Meeting focuses on the following broad categories: diagnostic microbiology and epidemiology; pathogenesis and host response mechanisms; general and applied microbiology (including environmental microbiology); and molecular microbiology, physiology, and virology. Held at San Francisco, CA. FMI:

Sunday, July 8 - Friday, July 13. 14th International Working Meeting on Soil Micromorphology. Held at l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, Spain. FMI: .

Sunday, August 5 - Friday, August 10. Workshop: Answering Ecological Questions with Metagenomic Sequencing (2012 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting). Held at Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. FMI: David Myrold

Sunday, October 21 - Wednesday, October 24. Symposium on Soil Metagenomics (2012 Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting). Held at Cincinnati, Ohio. FMI: David Myrold

Opportunities for Students

(listed by due date)

Sigma Xi Research Grants 03/15/2012

C-DEBI Graduate Fellow Program: The goal of the graduate student program is to stimulate the advancement of deep biosphere research through the training of a new generation of innovative scientists. April 2, 2012.

C-DEBI Post-Doctoral Scholar Program: The C-DEBI Postdoctoral Scholar Program supports postdoctoral research in C-DEBI community laboratories. April 2, 2012.

C-DEBI Research and Travel Exchange Program: C-DEBI facilitates scientific coordination and collaborations by supporting student, postdoctoral, and faculty exchanges to build, educate and train the deep subseafloor biosphere community.

Opportunities for Faculty

(listed by due date)

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

The SBI has funding available for proposal development and maintains a list of external grant opportunities related to the subsurface biosphere.

This newsletter is distributed by OSU's Subsurface Biosphere Initiative - an interdisciplinary consortium of faculty and students who share interests in underground ecosystems. The newsletter is distributed through the SBI email lists. To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to Questions, comments and newsletter topics may be sent to the Newsletters are also available on the Web at