Authors

Luke R. Thompson, University of California, San Diego
Jon G. Sanders, University of California, San Diego
Daniel McDonald, University of California, San Diego
Amnon Amir, University of California, San Diego
Joshua Ladau, University of California, San Francisco
Kenneth J. Locey, Indiana University Bloomington
Robert J. Prill, IBM Research - Almaden
Anupriya Tripathi, University of California, San Diego
Sean M. Gibbons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gail Ackermann, University of California, San Diego
Jose A. Navas-Molina, University of California, San Diego
Stefan Janssen, University of California, San Diego
Evguenia Kopylova, University of California, San Diego
Yoshiki Vázquez-Baeza, University of California, San Diego
Antonio González, University of California, San Diego
James T. Morton, University of California, San Diego
Siavash Mirarab, The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Zhenjiang Zech Xu, University of California, San Diego
Lingjing Jiang, University of California, San Diego
Mohamed F. Haroon, Harvard University
Jad Kanbar, University of California, San Diego
Qiyun Zhu, University of California, San Diego
Se Jin Song, University of California, San Diego
Tomasz Kosciolek, University of California, San Diego
Nicholas A. Bokulich, Northern Arizona University
Joshua Lefler, University of California, San Diego
Colin J. Brislawn, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Gregory Humphrey, University of California, San Diego
Sarah M. Owens, Argonne National Laboratory
Jarrad Hampton-Marcell, Argonne National Laboratory
Donna Berg-Lyons, University of Colorado Boulder
Valerie McKenzie, University of Colorado Boulder
Noah Fierer, University of Colorado Boulder

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-23-2017

Abstract

© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Our growing awareness of the microbial world's importance and diversity contrasts starkly with our limited understanding of its fundamental structure. Despite recent advances in DNA sequencing, a lack of standardized protocols and common analytical frameworks impedes comparisons among studies, hindering the development of global inferences about microbial life on Earth. Here we present a meta-analysis of microbial community samples collected by hundreds of researchers for the Earth Microbiome Project. Coordinated protocols and new analytical methods, particularly the use of exact sequences instead of clustered operational taxonomic units, enable bacterial and archaeal ribosomal RNA gene sequences to be followed across multiple studies and allow us to explore patterns of diversity at an unprecedented scale. The result is both a reference database giving global context to DNA sequence data and a framework for incorporating data from future studies, fostering increasingly complete characterization of Earth's microbial diversity.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Nature

First Page

457

Last Page

463

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