Project: Biological lenses using gene prints

Prokaryotic microbes are principal drivers of carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry and account for a major fraction of pelagic biomass and productivity in the Baltic Sea. Still, these organisms are neither included among the indicators of environmental status currently in use nor considered as functional entities in biogeochemical models. This flaw has been highlighted by HELCOM and OSPAR in their work to coordinate the development of indicators and determining GES in the Baltic and North Sea areas. The last decade has witnessed a tremendous increase in the capacity of high-throughput technologies for retrieving and processing genetic information from environmental samples; this has given mechanistic understanding of microbially driven food-web processes and how microbes are affected by environmental conditions. Therefore, for the first time we can now in a cost-efficient manner make integrated use of this analysis capacity for developing a conceptual and methodological framework for the assessment of ecological status of the Baltic Sea ecosystem based on information on microbial functions and processes. Thus, BLUEPRINT will combine field studies, experiments, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics and modeling to achieve the overarching objective: to establishing a capacity to reliably deduce Baltic Sea environmental status based on indicators reflecting the biodiversity and genetic functional profiles of microbes in seawater samples.

Acronym BLUEPRINT (Reference Number: call2012-88)
Duration 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017
Project Topic Developing and improving scientific basis for integrated monitoring programmes for continuous assessment of ecological status and human pressures
Website visit project website
Network BONUS
Call Bonus Call 2012: Viable Ecosystem

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Copenhagen Coordinator Denmark
2 Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan p Sweden
3 Stockholms universitet p Sweden
4 Linnaeus University p Sweden
5 University of Helsinki p Finland
6 Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde p Germany
7 University of Tartu p Estonia