The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) is an initiative working towards richer descriptions of our collection of genomes, metagenomes and marker genes. Established in September 2005, this international community includes representatives from a range of major sequencing and bioinformatics centres (including NCBI, EMBL, DDBJ, JCVI, JGI, EBI, Sanger, FIG) and research institutions. The goal of the GSC is to promote mechanisms for standardizing the description of (meta)genomes, including the exchange and integration of (meta)genomic data. The number and pace of genomic and metagenomic sequencing projects will only increase as the use of ultra-high-throughput methods becomes common place and standards are vital to scientific progress and data sharing. PacMAN will build on the standards developed within the GSC, and in particular on the Minimum Information about any (x) Sequence (MIxS) specification.
The Genomic Observatories Network (GOs Network) is a collaboration between the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). Its mission is:

  • Build a global network of premier research sites working to generate genomic biodiversity observations that are well contextualized and compliant with global data standards.
  • Encourage a set of long-term, place-based, DNA-centric programs that quantify biotic interactions in an ecosystem and develop models of biodiversity to predict the quality and distribution of ecosystem services.
  • Provide training, technical assistance, resources, and best practice guides as a learning platform for sites and organizations wishing to carry out genomic observations, particularly new sites in developing countries (many of which have very high and/or vulnerable biodiversity).

The Genomic Observatories Network will be represented in PacMAN’s Advisory Board by one of its founding members based at the University of California Gump South Pacific Research Station in French Polynesia.