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Going to extremes – a metagenomic journey into the dark matter of life

Arnthór Aevarsson 1 Anna-Karina Kaczorowska 2 Björn Thor Adalsteinsson 1 Josefin Ahlqvist 3 Salam Al-Karadaghi 4 Joseph Altenbuchner 5 Hasan Arsin 6 Úlfur Áugúst Átlasson 1 David Brandt 7 Magdalena Cichowicz-Cieślak 2 Katy A. S. Cornish 8 Jérémy Courtin 1 Slawomir Dabrowski 9 Håkon Dahle 6 Samia Djeffane 1 Sebastian Dorawa 2 Julia Dusaucy 1 Francois Enault 10 Anita-Elin Fedøy 6 Stefanie Freitag-Pohl 8 Olafur H Fridjonsson 1 Clovis Galiez 11 Eirin Glomsaker 12 Mickael Guérin 1 Sigurd E. Gundesø 12 Elisabet E. Gudmundsdóttir 1 Hördur Gudmundsson 1 Maria Håkansson 4 Christian Henke 7 Alexandra Helleux 1 Jørn Remi Henriksen 12 Sigrídur Hjörleifdóttir 1 Gudmundur O. Hreggvidsson 1, 13 Andrius Jasilionis 3 Annika Jochheim 11 Ilmur Jónsdóttir 1 Lilja Björk Jónsdóttir 1 Agata Jurczak-Kurek 2 Tadeusz Kaczorowski 2 Jörn Kalinowski 7 Lukasz P. Kozlowski 11, 14 Mart Krupovic 15 Karolina Kwiatkowska-Semrau 2 Olav Lanes 12 Joanna Lange 16 Julien Lebrat 1 Javier Linares-Pastén 3 Ying Liu 15 Steffen A. Lorentsen 12 Tobias Lutterman 7 Thibaud Mas 10 William Merré 1 Milot Mirdita 11 Agnieszka Morzywołek 2 Eric Olo Ndela 10 Eva Nordberg Karlsson 3 Edda Olgudóttir 1 Cathrine Pedersen 12 Francine Perler 17 Sólveig K. Pétursdóttir 1 Magdalena Plotka 2 Ehmke Pohl 8 David Prangishvili 15 Jessica L. Ray 6, 18 Birkir Reynisson 1 Tara Róbertsdóttir 1 Ruth-Anne Sandaa 6 Alexander Sczyrba 7 Sigurlaug Skírnisdóttir 1 Johannes Söding 11 Terese Solstad 12 Ida H. Steen 6 Sigmar Karl Stefánsson 1 Martin Steinegger 11 Katrine Stange Overå 12 Bernd Striberny 12 Anders Svensson 4 Monika Szadkowska 2 Emma J. Tarrant 8 Paul Terzian 10 Mathilde Tourigny 1 Tom van den Bergh 16 Justine Vanhalst 1 Jonathan Vincent 10 Bas Vroling 16 Björn Walse 4 Lei Wang 19 Hildegard Watzlawick 19 Martin Welin 4 Olesia Werbowy 2 Ewa Wons 2 Ruoshi Zhang 11 
Abstract : The Virus-X—Viral Metagenomics for Innovation Value—project was a scientific expedition to explore and exploit uncharted territory of genetic diversity in extreme natural environments such as geothermal hot springs and deep-sea ocean ecosystems. Specifically, the project was set to analyse and exploit viral metagenomes with the ultimate goal of developing new gene products with high innovation value for applications in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical, and the life science sectors. Viral gene pool analysis is also essential to obtain fundamental insight into ecosystem dynamics and to investigate how viruses influence the evolution of microbes and multicellular organisms. The Virus-X Consortium, established in 2016, included experts from eight European countries. The unique approach based on high throughput bioinformatics technologies combined with structural and functional studies resulted in the development of a biodiscovery pipeline of significant capacity and scale. The activities within the Virus-X consortium cover the entire range from bioprospecting and methods development in bioinformatics to protein production and characterisation, with the final goal of translating our results into new products for the bioeconomy. The significant impact the consortium made in all of these areas was possible due to the successful cooperation between expert teams that worked together to solve a complex scientific problem using state-of-the-art technologies as well as developing novel tools to explore the virosphere, widely considered as the last great frontier of life.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 17, 2022 - 5:49:04 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 3:13:37 AM

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Arnthór Aevarsson, Anna-Karina Kaczorowska, Björn Thor Adalsteinsson, Josefin Ahlqvist, Salam Al-Karadaghi, et al.. Going to extremes – a metagenomic journey into the dark matter of life. FEMS Microbiology Letters, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021, 368 (12), pp.fnab067. ⟨10.1093/femsle/fnab067⟩. ⟨pasteur-03698255⟩

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