The Prokaryotic Super Program Advisory Committee met on March 27, 2013 for their annual review the Prokaryotic Super Program at the DOE Joint Genome Institute. As is the case with any site visit or program review, the objective is to evaluate progress in meeting organizational objectives, provide feedback to from the user-community and to assist the JGI in formulating plans for the coming year. The advisors want to commend the JGI for its central role in developing new technologies and capabilities, and for catalyzing the formation of new collaborative user communities. Highlights of the post-meeting exchanges among the advisors focused on the importance of programmatic initiatives including:
• GEBA, which serves as a phylogenetic “base-map” on which our knowledge of functional diversity can be layered.
• FEBA, which promises to provide new insights into the physiological capabilities of prokaryotes under highly standardized conditions.
• Single-cell genomics technology, which is seen to significantly enhance our ability to interpret genomic and metagenomic data and broaden the scope of the GEBA program to encompass at least a part of the microbial “dark-matter”.
• IMG, which is seen to play a central role in JGI programs and is viewed as a strategically important asset in the JGI portfolio.
On this latter point, the committee encourages the formation of a strategic relationship between IMG and the Kbase to ensure that the intelligence, deep knowledge and experience captured in the former is not lost. The committee strongly urges the DOE to continue its support for maintaining this critical resource.