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Ocean Genome Legacy

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact

What is Ocean Genome Legacy?

Ocean Genome Legacy is a non-profit genome bank at Northeastern University dedicated to exploring and preserving the wealth of information contained in the genomes (total DNA) of endangered, rare, unusual, and ecologically critical marine organisms.

What is OGL’s mission?

Our mission is to collect, describe, and preserve genomes from marine species, and to make these materials widely available for scientific research. We carry out our mission through a marine DNA repository, educational outreach, and serving as a collaborative hub for other like-missioned organizations.

Why is OGL undertaking this effort?

To preserve endangered marine species and environments in the face of increasing anthropogenic threats and to provide genomic resources to the scientific community for the advancement of basic and applied non-commercial research. The primary goals of our DNA repository are to provide primary materials for research, stimulate scientific inquiry and collaborative effort, and enable long-term conservation and preservation of endangered genes, species, and ecosystems.

How will OGL achieve its goals?

OGL seeks to create a community of scientists, institutions, and individuals who are motivated to participate voluntarily in a joint effort to document, preserve, and share marine genomic resources.

Whom does OGL serve?

Scientists, students, educators, and institutions involved in basic and applied research in marine science, conservation, fisheries science, sustainable resource management, medicine, biotechnology, and other areas of discovery.

What does OGL’s name mean?

The OCEAN is our planet’s most influential but least understood ecosystem. The GENOME is the sum of all DNA in a living organism and its blueprint for life. Our LEGACY is a gift of knowledge that we preserve for future generations.

What is OGL’s connection to New England Biolabs?

OGL was founded as a non-profit organization by Dr. Donald Comb, founder and former CEO of New England Biolabs. In 2014, OGL joined Northeastern University and moved to the Marine Science Center in Nahant, MA.

What can we learn from marine genomes (DNA)?

The information encoded in marine genomes can help us understand the unique identity, biology, adaptations, vulnerabilities, interactions, evolution, and history of marine organisms, providing knowledge that can help conserve those organisms and their ecosystems. Marine genomes can also help cure disease, protect the environment, and improve the sustainability of global food and energy supplies by supporting research in drug development, human and veterinary medicine, biotechnology, agriculture, bioenergy, and other areas of innovation.

What species are in the OGL collection?

OGL is interested in preserving DNA from all marine animal and algae species. You can browse our online catalog to explore the species available.

Does OGL preserve microbes or microbial DNA?

The OGL biorepository focuses on DNA from macroscopic organisms. A limited number of bacterial strains and bacterial DNA samples are housed in the OGL laboratory for Dr. Daniel Distel’s research on shipworms and their bacterial symbionts.

What products does OGL provide?

OGL offers genomic DNA and a limited number of tissue samples. We also offer scientific materials and services such as “OGL in a Box” sample preservation kits and a DNA-based seafood identification service.

Why should scientists use a central biorepository like OGL?

A central biorepository like OGL offers reliable access to high quality, well documented, legally obtained marine samples, many of which would be difficult to access otherwise. The OGL biorepository enhances research efficiency by making rare samples widely available, by securely preserving materials to minimize the unnecessary collection of new samples, by sharing the benefits of the Marine Science Center’s infrastructure and expertise.

Does OGL sequence DNA?

No, OGL is not a DNA sequencing facility, but we make DNA samples available to scientists around the world who may wish to perform DNA sequencing for their research.

How do I cite OGL in publications?

Whether tissue, genomic DNA, tissue products, or associated data, an appropriate citation must be made of the material and/or data source.

The proper format for such reference citation is:
“OGL Accession ID number [xxxxxx]. Ocean Genome Legacy Database, The Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New England Biolabs, Northeastern University. Published on the web at: https://www.northeastern.edu/ogl/catalog.”