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Global Ocean Sampling Expedition

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Title: Global Ocean Sampling Expedition  
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Subject: GenGIS, 2003 in science, Sputnik virophage, Craig Venter, Biodiversity
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Global Ocean Sampling Expedition

Sampling sites of the Sorcerer II.

The Global Ocean Sampling Expedition (GOS) is an ocean exploration genome project with the goal of assessing the genetic diversity in marine microbial communities and to understand their role in nature's fundamental processes. It was begun as a Sargasso Sea pilot sampling project in August 2003, Craig Venter announced the full Expedition on 4 March 2004. The project, which used Craig Venter's personal yacht, started in Halifax, Canada and circumnavigated the globe and returning to the U.S. in January 2006. The expedition sampled water from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean while undertaking a two year circumnavigation. During 2007, sampling continued along the west coast of North America.

Data analysis

The GOS datasets were submitted to both NCBI[1] and Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA), a new online resource for marine metagenomics funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, developed by JCVI and hosted by UC San Diego's Division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). CAMERA's toolset was developed by JCVI, and reflects the tools used in the initial publication of the GOS datasets.


The Sorcerer II effort has been funded by:


Name: Sorcerer II
Builder: Cookson
Launched: 1998
General characteristics
Length: 28.95 m (95.0 ft)
Beam: 7.08 m (23.2 ft)
Draught: 2.84 m (9 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: One Cummins 300 HP

Sorcerer II completed a 2 year scientific expedition circumnavigating the globe in mid latitudes collecting samples of microbes in seawater for genetic sequencing and cataloguing. She was designed to be not just a world cruising yacht, but one that would be capable of handling the extremes in latitudes, from equatorial heat and humidity to latitudes between 60 and 70 degrees. SORCERER II's construction is light for performance, but very strong, with her kevlar and E glass laminates, epoxy bonding and carefully chosen core materials.

The vessel was designed by German Frers and carries 2,400 litres (630 US gal) of water.


The following list is of the official publications of the project and the J. Craig Venter Institute.

See also


  1. ^ Global Ocean Sampling Expedition project at the J. Craig Venter Institute, Project ID 13694, National Center for Biotechnology Information, web site accessed Mar 17, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d More than Six Million New Genes, Thousands of New Protein Families, and Incredible Degree of Microbial Diversity Discovered from First Phase of Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition, 13 March 2007 Press Release, J. Craig Venter Institute

External links

  • Official website
  • Official blog of the 2009–10 leg
  • A large picture of Venter on the stern of the Sorcerer II
  • GOS data from CAMERA
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