Who Are We
We are an international group of scientists interested in soil metagenomics.

A Little History
We had a meeting in Lyon, France in December 2008. The goal of the Lyon 2008 meeting was to establish a working public international consortium for the complete sequencing of the metagenome of a reference soil. The soil system chosen for initial investigation, Park Grass, Rothamsted (UK), is a charismatic, internationally-recognized resource that includes ongoing experiments that have been running for over 140 years. This unique long term ecological site (LTER) provides a history of soil biology and chemistry, as well as an archive of soil samples representing detailed studies of the impact of manipulations and its metagenome sequence will constitute the “reference” sequence to which other soils could be compared. The provisional composition of the International public consortium, objectives and preliminary timetables was established during the Lyon 2008 meeting.

A workshop was held at the BAGECO-10 meeting in Uppsala, Sweden in June 2009. Updates about ongoing soil metagenomic projects from throughout the world were given. Working groups were formed to solicit input on establishing a metadata standard for soil metagenomes and to draft a proposal to the US National Science Foundation for funding of a research coordination network (RCN) that would support the activities of TerraGenome.

In August 2010, a TerraGenome roundtable was held at the ISME-13 meetings in Seattle, Washington, USA. The working group on metadata standards reported on its efforts, which resulted in a publication and a recommendation to the Genetics Standards Consortium (GSC) that has been accepted and introduced. The NSF RCN proposal was favorably received but not funded, and a resubmission was planned. Notification that the resubmitted proposal would be supported by NSF was received a year later and the TerraGenome RCN was formally launched in September 2011.

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