Great Barrier Reef Framework Data Initiative

Bioplatforms Australia formed a strategic alliance with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to bring together leading researchers from Australia and Saudi Arabia, to understand the genetic makeup of corals and how they might respond to climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef Framework Data Initiative or Sea-quence Project aims to bridge the knowledge gap around coral resilience and their capacity to adapt to environmental changes, which is key for reef management.

This consortium has generated an open access resource of coral and symbiodinium genome sequences, as well as associated microbial symbiont metagenomics data. The analysis methodologies are also publicly available, which enable faster, more efficient and cost effective analysis of coral genomes. This data resource will facilitate a series of hypothesis-driven research projects to be executed by members of the Reef Future Genomics 2020 (ReFuGe 2020 consortium)

Sequence data generated by this project includes:

  • the world’s first whole coral organism, including the coral animal, symbiodinium (zooxanthellae), and associated microbes including bacteria and viruses
  • a total of 9 coral host species
  • 3 symbiodinium (zooxanthellae)
  • coral-associated microbial symbionts

The Sea-quence project is the world’s largest coral genomics sequencing project. It is led by Dr David Bourne from the Australian Institute of Marine Science in partnership with James Cook University, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the University of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and the Australian National University. The project has also received support from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Rio Tinto and the Fitzgerald Family Foundation.

For further information please visit the Bioplatforms Australia Metadata Portal: https://data.bioplatforms.com/organization/about/bpa-great-barrier-reef

Project contacts:

David Bourne | T: 07 4753 4139 | d.bourne@aims.gov.au
Petra Lundgren | T: 07 3252 7555| plundgren@barrierreef.org
Anna Fitzgerald | T: 02 9850 1174 | afitzgerald@bioplatforms.com

Articles and Publications
Genomics in Sea-quence, Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Great Barrier Reef Foundation
1 November 2017
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Scientists successfully genetically sequence whole coral organism
Australian Geographic
1 November 2017
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Townsville Bulletin
17 May 2017
Com61_GBR_Townsville_Bulletin2017

Scientists anxiously await Barrier Reef coral spawn off North Qld
ABC News
21 November 2013
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Elusive coral spawn key to world-first DNA study
ABC News Radio Program
21 November 2013
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Coral DNA to help reef conservation: study
ABC News
8 November 2012
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Climate study to focus on coral DNA
The Australian
8 November 2012
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World’s first Sea-quence project unites Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea scientists to help protect coral reefs from climate change
IMB News 2012
8 November 2012
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Great Barrier Reef focus of international genome sequencing project
Australian Life Scientist
8 November 2012
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Genomics in Sea-quence

The Sea-quence Project, the world’s largest coral genomics sequencing project, has genetically sequenced a whole coral organism for the first time – the coral animal, the tiny plants (zooxanthellae) that live in its tissue, and associated microbes including bacteria and viruses. The project has also sequenced eight other forms of coral, two cultured Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae) species and a suite of additional, coral associated microbes, and are releasing all genomics information publicly to the global research community, which can be accessed at the Bioplatforms Australia Data Portal here:  https://data.bioplatforms.com/organization/about/bpa-great-barrier-reef.