Research Article

Ocean biogeochemistry modeled with emergent trait-based genomics

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Science  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6367, pp. 1149-1154
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5712

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Functional ocean biogeography

Marine ecosystems are well represented in metagenomic and transcriptomic data. These data are not routinely used to test ecosystem models that explore ocean biogeography or biogeochemistry. Coles et al. built a model in which genes for a range of functions were assigned to different suites of simulated microbes (see the Perspective by Rynearson). Communities emerged from the model with realistic biogeographical and biogeochemical profiles when compared to microbial data collected from the Amazon River plume. However, functional composition trumped the details of taxonomy, and different, coevolving community compositions emerged that provided similar biogeochemical outcomes.

Science, this issue p. 1149; see also p. 1129