Research Repository

Bridging the gap between omics and earth system science to better understand how environmental change impacts marine microbes

Mock, T and Daines, SJ and Geider, RJ and Collins, S and Metodiev, M and Millar, AJ and Moulton, V and Lenton, TM (2015) 'Bridging the gap between omics and earth system science to better understand how environmental change impacts marine microbes.' Global Change Biology, 22 (1). pp. 61-75. ISSN 1365-2486

Mock_et_al-2015-Global_Change_Biology.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (499kB) | Preview


The advent of genomic-, transcriptomic- and proteomic-based approaches has revolutionized our ability to describe marine microbial communities, including biogeography, metabolic potential and diversity, mechanisms of adaptation, and phylogeny and evolutionary history. New interdisciplinary approaches are needed to move from this descriptive level to improved quantitative, process-level understanding of the roles of marine microbes in biogeochemical cycles and of the impact of environmental change on the marine microbial ecosystem. Linking studies at levels from the genome to the organism, to ecological strategies and organism and ecosystem response, requires new modelling approaches. Key to this will be a fundamental shift in modelling scale that represents micro-organisms from the level of their macromolecular components. This will enable contact with omics data sets and allow acclimation and adaptive response at the phenotype level (i.e. traits) to be simulated as a combination of fitness maximization and evolutionary constraints. This way forward will build on ecological approaches that identify key organism traits and systems biology approaches that integrate traditional physiological measurements with new insights from omics. It will rely on developing an improved understanding of ecophysiology to understand quantitatively environmental controls on microbial growth strategies. It will also incorporate results from experimental evolution studies in the representation of adaptation. The resulting ecosystem-level models can then evaluate our level of understanding of controls on ecosystem structure and function, highlight major gaps in understanding and help prioritize areas for future research programs. Ultimately, this grand synthesis should improve predictive capability of the ecosystem response to multiple environmental drivers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolution; genomics; microbes; modelling; ocean
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 10:28
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item