Research Output
A horizon scan of priorities for coastal marine microbiome research
  Research into the microbiomes of natural environments is changing the way ecologists and evolutionary biologists view the importance of microbes in ecosystem function. This is particularly relevant in ocean environments, where microbes constitute the majority of biomass and control most of the major biogeochemical cycles, including those that regulate the Earth's climate. Coastal marine environments provide goods and services that are imperative to human survival and well-being (e.g. fisheries, water purification), and emerging evidence indicates that these ecosystem services often depend on complex relationships between communities of microorganisms (the ‘microbiome’) and their hosts or environment – termed the ‘holobiont’. Understanding of coastal ecosystem function must therefore be framed under the holobiont concept, whereby macroorganisms and their associated microbiomes are considered as a synergistic ecological unit. Here we evaluated the current state of knowledge on coastal marine microbiome research and identified key questions within this growing research area. Although the list of questions is broad and ambitious, progress in the field is increasing exponentially, and the emergence of large, international collaborative networks and well-executed manipulative experiments are rapidly advancing the field of coastal marine microbiome research.

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  • Date:

    21 October 2019

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  • Funders:

    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology


Trevathan-Tackett, S. M., Sherman, C. D., Huggett, M. J., Campbell, A. H., Laverock, B., Hurtado-McCormick, V., …Macreadie, P. I. (2019). A horizon scan of priorities for coastal marine microbiome research. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1509-1520.


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