Poster Presentation Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019

The Australian Microbiome – a collaborative network characterizing Australia’s microbial diversity (#251)

Andrew Bissett 1
  1. CSIRO Plant Industry, CANBERRA, ACT, Australia

NOTE: Author IS Australian Microbiome Consortium


The Australian Microbiome (AM) initiative is a collaborative network of researchers that aims to provide publically available data characterizing Australia’s environmental microbial diversity. The initiative is primarily administered and supported by CSIRO, Director of National Parks through Bush Blitz, Bioplatforms Australia and the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). The AM produces both amplicon sequences (bacteria, archaea, eukaryote and fungal targets) and shotgun metagenomes, primarily from soil and marine environments.  The AM currently comprises >2.5x109amplicon sequences, from 7723samples and >42x109 metagenomic sequences from 962 samples.  Every sample is accompanied by rich sample specific metadata describing its physical and chemical composition, as well as its geolocation and regional descriptors.  Methods used to collect samples, perform wet lab analyses and downstream bio-informatic analyses are standardised.  Sequence and sample specific metadata is available via the AM data portal ( ), as both raw sequences data and curated sequence abundance tables, sequence data is also submitted to international nucleotide archives.  Data produced by the AM is also available for direct export to and analysis by the Galaxy Australia server. 

AM was formed by aligning the previous Marine Metagenome (MM) and Biomes of Australian Soil Environments (BASE) projects into a single Australian microbial diversity resource.  Soil data comprise samples from two depths per site, covering the breadth of Australian soil heterogeneity, as determined by soil chemical and physical maps and overlying plant community data.  Soil samples also include limited samples from Antarctica.  Marine data also covers depth profiles and includes relatively high temporal resolution time series data from IMOS national reference stations, as well as both pelagic and near shore samples from around the Australian coast line.  Near shore samples also include both sediments and symbiont microbiomes. 

The AM is currently expanding to include greater temporal and spatial coverage with an expected 3500 amplicon samples sequenced and 400 metagenomes in the next 3 years.  AM will also continue to improve secondary data types and accessibility.