JCVI scientists in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Scripps Institution of Oceanography have built a state-of-the-art computational resource along with software tools to catalogue and interpret microbial life in the world's oceans. The new resource will help scientists understand how microbes function in their natural ecosystems, enable studies on the effect humans are having on the environment, as well as permit insight into the evolution of life on Earth.
CAMERA, the Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis database, is a continually evolving tool where anyone can access raw environmental sequence data, associated metadata, pre-computed search results, and high-performance computational resources. The aim of this project is to serve the needs of the microbial ecology research community by creating a rich, distinctive data repository and a bioinformatics tools resource that will address many of the unique challenges of metagenomic analysis. The Project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation which awarded a 7-year, $24.5-million research grant to the CAMERA project, beginning in January 2006.
Initially, CAMERA is making available all the metagenomic data being collected by the J. Craig Venter Institute's Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) expeditions, which have sampled microbial communities around the globe, plus 150 new full genome maps of ocean microbes. The initial incarnation of CAMERA also includes two other data sets: a large-scale metagenomic survey of marine viral organisms collected from sites around the North American continent by Forest Rohwer and his research team at San Diego State University and a vertical profile of marine microbial communities collected at the Hawaii Ocean Time-Series (HOTS) station ALOHA by Ed DeLong and his research team at MIT.