Invitation to Join the European Reference Genome Atlas welcome meeting, Monday 17th of January

Trasmettiamo di seguito l'invito per un plenary meeting virtuale che si terrà questo lunedì (17 Gennaio) in cui verrà presentata l'iniziativa European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA), che ha come scopo lo sviluppo di genomi di riferimento delle specie di eucarioti che compongono la biodiversità Europea.

L'invito non è solo per chi si interessa di genomica ma anche per personale dei musei di storia naturale, tassonomi e divulgatori. ERGA è infatti partner di Bioscan Europe in un progetto Horizon Europe su monitoraggio della biodiversità mediante tecniche di barcoding e genomiche che include workpackages sulla raccolta di campioni e vouchering, il cui coordinatore è il Museo di Storia Naturale Olandese Naturalis.



The European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) Consortium is happy to announce the Welcome2ERGA-22 virtual meeting, which will inform new members as well as potentially interested people on how to join ERGA and participate in ERGA activities.

Conservation and restoration of biodiversity is a top European Commission priority recently highlighted in the European Green Deal and in the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. While the primary route to preserve biodiversity mainly comprises protection and restoration of species, habitats, and ecosystems, genomic approaches provide a wide array of novel, emergent tools that can inform conservation efforts. Genomics can help understand past and present demographic trends of populations and predict if, how and to which extent species important to ecosystem services will cope with habitat changes, how their distribution can respond to the ongoing shifts in habitat quality, and what their level of resilience will be in terms of, for example, susceptibility to pathogens and adaptation to a changing environment. In biodiversity restoration, the function of ecosystems that have been restored needs to be assessed and monitored to confirm success of restoration efforts. Here, genomics can very precisely characterize all the diverse taxonomic groups and monitor trends in their distribution and abundance.

All genome studies start from the generation of a reference genome, that is a high-quality, nearly error-free DNA sequence representing the entire genomic makeup of a species, serving as reference for species identification, population studies, structure and functions of communities and eventually for all biodiversity monitoring studies. Several initiatives have been established worldwide for the production of reference genomes for a variety of organisms, yet reference genomes are only available for a small fraction of European species.

The European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) initiative is a pan-European consortium involving 40 among EU countries and other partners, with the aim of generating reference genomes representing the biodiversity of Europe, ranging from endangered species, species of importance for ecosystem function and stability, to key species for agriculture and fisheries.

We encourage everyone, specially students and early career researchers, interested in the application of reference genomes to the study of European Union biodiversity and ecosystem conservation to join the Welcome-to-ERGA 2022 virtual meeting on Monday, the 17th of January at 15:00 Central European Time (CET). ERGA is a multidisciplinary initiative and therefore we welcome many different types of expertise, including those that connect science with applications and society.

The meeting will be divided in three sessions:

1. Introducing ERGA, which will describe how ERGA was formed, its current structure and the goals for 2022;
2. ERGA groups, which will introduce the different groups already active in ERGA, their goals and achievements so far;
3. For new members, which will summarise how to engage in ERGA activities and how prospective new members can join.

Please do join us on January 17th 2022, from 15:00-16:30 CET by first providing your contact details using the following form:

you will then receive the connection information to join the meeting on Monday