Genomic Approaches in Marine Biodiversity and Aquaculture
Recent advances in genomic and post-genomic technologies have now established the new standard in medical and biotechnological research. The introduction of next-generation sequencing, NGS,has resulted in the generation of thousands of genomes from all domains of life, including the genomes of complex uncultured microbial communities revealed through metagenomics. Although the application of genomics to marine biodiversity remains poorly developed overall, some noteworthy progress has been made in recent years. The genomes of various model marine organisms have been published and a few more are underway. In addition, the recent large-scale analysis of marine microbes, along with transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to the study of teleost fishes, mollusks and crustaceans, to mention a few, has provided a better understanding of phenotypic variability and functional genomics. The past few years have also seen advances in applications relevant to marine aquaculture and fisheries. In this review we introduce several examples of recent discoveries and progress made towards engendering genomic resources aimed at enhancing our understanding of marine biodiversity and promoting the development of aquaculture. Finally, we discuss the need for auspicious science policies to address challenges confronting smaller nations in the appropriate oversight of this growing domain as they strive to guarantee food security and conservation of their natural resources.