ATLASea will collect, taxonomically identify and permanently preserve biological samples of each species at the MNHN. Once the high-quality DNA has been extracted, it will be sequenced and stored at the Genoscope of the France GĂ©nomique infrastructure. A state-of-the-art IT environment will be used to assemble, annotate, store and distribute these genomes. They will be produced to a quality level known as “reference” in order to generate a highly trusted resource for the biology and biotechnologies of the future. ATLASea represents a major French contribution to major international biodiversity sequencing programmes, and is the largest programme of its kind dedicated to the marine environment. The programme will produce a massive data base for research into health and fundamental biology for decades to come, in the fields of evolution, genetics, developmental biology, phylogenomics, taxonomy, physiology and biochemistry.

The programme will also include a major training component to maintain French expertise in sequencing and bioinformatics: summer schools, workshops, supervision of PhD students, etc.

Public-private partnerships to exploit genomic data will be financed as part of the programme. The idea is to irrigate the marine biotechnology research and development process with genomic knowledge, by raising awareness among French companies already working with seafood products.

Finally, the ATLASea programme is part of an extremely favourable international context that represents an opportunity of strategic importance. It will be supported by the European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) initiative, which is affiliated to the Earth Biogenome Project (EBP), and in which the two proposed directors are already heavily involved. It resonates with the European Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership for climate and will be integrated with the European Union’s “Blue Cloud” and the United Nations’ “Decade of the Oceans” initiatives.

To carry out these actions, the CEA and CNRS, co-pilots of the PEPR, will be joined by five academic partners: Ifremer, MNHN, Aix-Marseille University, Paris Sciences Lettres and Sorbonne University.

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Structure of the programme

Our partners


International context