Marine Holobionts - concepts and challengesInternal

HoloMarine

Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: March 27, 2018
End Date: March 28, 2018
Venue: Station Biologique de Roscoff, France
Contact: Fabrice Not
E-mail: not [at] roscoff.fr
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2017 call for FWS and WG proposals
Total Budget: €11,800
Funds Granted: €7,500

Manager(s): Fabrice Not
Application/registration deadline: January 15, 2018
Registration website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSQgmmgsX-VD53G8elSIRZyLbfi7hhhT_Q3lcw...

Realizing the importance of the concept of holobionts, many marine labs across Europe have started to incorporate this notion into their research projects at different levels, from targeted cultivation experiments in the laboratory via metagenomics to vast barcoding studies that describe diversity patterns in microbial (frequently bacterial) communities associated with different micro- and macro- hosts. These projects, however, remain disconnected, and there are very few examples of studies that bridge the gap between functional interdependencies between a host and its symbionts, the impact these interdependencies have on the functioning of an ecosystem, and the role of the ecosystem in shaping these interactions. Furthermore, very little is known about the mechanisms that have enabled the initiation and maintenance of these complex systems across evolutionary time.

Objectives

Answering these latter questions requires the interaction and coordination between experts from different fields and starting to search for points of convergence and synergies in our research. This is the primary objective of this foresight workshop: we will be bringing together a small group of experts including several slots for talented early stage researchers working on different systems (micro, macro, plant, animal, viruses), at different scales (molecular system in the laboratory to ecosystem), using different approaches (e.g. chemistry, microfluidics to genomics), and addressing different parts of these questions (e.g. from metabolic exchanges via ecosystem function to evolutionary implications). During two full days, besides review talks by nine leading scientists, covering a large panel of expertise (philosophy, marine biology and ecology, microbiology, mathematics, evolution), we deliberately chose to leave enough room for in-depth discussions that will be organized by topics to ensure effective outcomes for each scientific session.

Expected outcomes

As a tangible outcome of this workshop, and starting on its last day we will prepare a joint position paper identifying the main challenges, possible solutions, and opportunities for a comprehensive study of the functions of host microbe interactions in marine systems and the assessment of their importance on an ecosystem level. The impact of this FSW, however, will extend beyond this paper as we anticipate that the discussions as well as the preparation of the position paper will help consolidate an interdisciplinary network of European scientists, which will be an excellent starting point for joint project proposals at a European level in the context of the FP9, thus having a long-term impact on structuring holobiont-related science performed at the European level.

The HOLOMARINE workshop, hosted at the Roscoff Biological Station 27-28 March 2018, brought together 31 participants from 11 countries. These scientists represented a wide variety of fields, including philosophy, evolution, marine biology, marine ecology, microbiology and mathmatics. However all shared a common interes in the emerging field of marine holobiont research, and each was already working in this area on various systems (micro, macro, plant,animal, viruses), at different scales (molecular system in the laboratory to ecosystem), using different approaches (e.g. chemistry, microfluidics to genomics), and addressing different parts of the questions (e.g. from metabolic exchanges via ecosystem function to evolutionary implications). The overall objective was to exchange ideas regarding key concepts and opportunities in marine holobiont research, to identify points of convergence and synergies, to start structuring the community, and tohighlight and tackle key challenges in the field.

A joint position paper reflecting the outcomes of the discussions was preprinted on August 23rd, 2019. 

The workshop also led to the establishment of a “holomarine” mailing list. The importance to improve the transfer and exchange of information among our community was animportant issue identified during the HOLOMARINE worshop.This mailing list is open to the whole community, and reache 100 subscribers shortly after launch. Its purpose is to share relevant information related to Marine holobionts and more (congress venue, job, post-doc or PhD positions, workshops, technical questions, etc).

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December 6, 2017 - News - Update or Reminder - Marine Holobionts Workshop - Registration now open