MetaExplore is a European research project funded by the EC with 18 participating groups from The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Slovenia and Argentina.
The Metaexplore project aims to develop and apply advanced molecular tools that allow the cloning and sequencing of the metagenomes of microbial communities of selected soil and aquatic habitats, followed by educated activity- and sequence-based screenings for, and analyses and engineering of, target enzymatic activities. We focus in particular on improved enzymes involved in the biodegradation of recalcitrant and xenobiotic molecules. The project is driven by both industrial demand and state-of-the-art environmental metagenomics technologies.
Terragenome is an international group of scientists interested in soil metagenomics. Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” This statement is just as true today, 500 years after it was written, and is particularly applicable to the microorganisms that inhabit the soil as the identities and roles of most of these microorganisms remain a mystery; even the relevance of microbial diversity to the functioning of soils remains obscure. The complete sequencing of a soil metagenome (i.e., the genomes of all microorganisms inhabiting the soil environment) is now an achievable objective that requires a strong international and interdisciplinary collaboration. The purpose of the TerraGenome network is to facilitate activities that will increase our knowledge and understanding of the soil metagenome.