ERGA pilot

PorteursERGA consortiumAffiliation

A Genome Atlas of European Biodiversity

Launched in 2020, the ERGA (European Refence Genome Atlas) initiative aims to generate an atlas of high-quality reference genomes for all marine and terrestrial organisms living in Europe. This programme is the European branch of a global project to decipher biodiversity, the Earth Biogenome Project. The reference genomes provide a comprehensive overview of the genetic information that characterises each species. They are a valuable resource for understanding how living organisms function, how they interact, and how to acquire knowledge to conserve and preserve biodiversity. ERGA is focused in the biodiversity of eukaryotes. France Génomique is financing, with the help of the CNRS, the French participation in a pilot project aiming at sequencing the genomes of a few dozen species in order to set up the methods that will then be applied on a larger scale. At the French level, researchers working in a field related to biodiversity were asked to provide lists of priority species and samples to be analysed. From this inventory, a range of species representative of France’s biodiversity was selected for the pilot project. These include the European mink Mustela lutreola, the marmot plum Prunus brigantina, the alga Phaeosaccion multiseriatum, the pollack Pollachius pollachius, the fern jellyfish Aglaophenia octodonta and two amphipods, Niphargus schellenbergi and Niphargus dancaui . The Genoscope carries out genomic sequences using long-read technology, Hi-C or optical map techniques, which should help achieve the quality objectives set by ERGA.