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Introducing BASE: the Biomes of Australian Soil Environments soil microbial diversity database


Bissett, A and Fitzgerald, A and Meintjes, T and Mele, PM and Reith, F and Dennis, PG and Breed, MF and Brown, B and Brown, MV and Brugger, J and Byrne, M and Caddy-Retalic, S and Carmody, B and Coates, DJ and Correa, C and Ferrari, BC and Gupta, VVSR and Hamonts, K and Haslem, A and Hugenholtz, P and Karan, M and Koval, J and Lowe, AJ and Macdonald, SJ and McGrath, L and Martin, D and Morgan, M and North, KI and Paungfoo-Lonhienne, C and Pendall, E and Phillips, L and Pirzl, R and Powell, JR and Ragan, MA and Schmidt, S and Seymour, N and Snape, I and Stephen, JR and Stevens, M and Tinning, M and Williams, K and Yeoh, YK and Zammit, CM and Young, A, Introducing BASE: the Biomes of Australian Soil Environments soil microbial diversity database, GigaScience, 5, (1) Article 21. ISSN 2047-217X (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

© 2016 Bissett et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s13742-016-0126-5


Background: Microbial inhabitants of soils are important to ecosystem and planetary functions, yet there are large gaps in our knowledge of their diversity and ecology. The ‘Biomes of Australian Soil Environments’ (BASE) project has generated a database of microbial diversity with associated metadata across extensive environmental gradients at continental scale. As the characterisation of microbes rapidly expands, the BASE database provides an evolving platform for interrogating and integrating microbial diversity and function.

Findings: BASE currently provides amplicon sequences and associated contextual data for over 900 sites encompassing all Australian states and territories, a wide variety of bioregions, vegetation and land-use types. Amplicons target bacteria, archaea and general and fungal-specific eukaryotes. The growing database will soon include metagenomics data. Data are provided in both raw sequence (FASTQ) and analysed OTU table formats and are accessed via the project’s data portal, which provides a user-friendly search tool to quickly identify samples of interest. Processed data can be visually interrogated and intersected with other Australian diversity and environmental data using tools developed by the ‘Atlas of Living Australia’.

Conclusions: Developed within an open data framework, the BASE project is the first Australian soil microbial diversity database. The database will grow and link to other global efforts to explore microbial, plant, animal, and marine biodiversity. Its design and open access nature ensures that BASE will evolve as a valuable tool for documenting an often overlooked component of biodiversity and the many microbe-driven processes that are essential to sustain soil function and ecosystem services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:microbiology, microbial ecology, soil biology, Australia, database, microbial diversity, metagenomics
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Macdonald, SJ (Mr Stuart Macdonald)
ID Code:117125
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:135
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-05-31
Last Modified:2017-09-21
Downloads:123 View Download Statistics

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