Publicado el 6 April, 2021 / News

Mission Tara Microbiome / CEODOS Chile successfully reaches half of its journey through Chile

 The Biobío Region, the oceanographic center par excellence, will become the focus of research for the scientific sailboat Tara in the next few days, which is already in Talcahuano, the third stop of the Tara Microbiome / CEODOS Chile Mission. The mission of TARA CEODOS Chile is to carry out a comprehensive sampling of the Chilean coast, from Antarctica to Iquique, in order to better understand the impact of climate change, contributing to the Chilean capacity to adapt to it and mitigate its effects.
This mission is focused on studying oceanic microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, as well as some crustaceans, emerging pollutants such as microplastic, pathogens, trace metals in the ocean and the behavior of greenhouse gases continuously, among many other things. It is a long-term initiative that seeks to monitor the Chilean ocean every five years and thus continue its transition towards the new normal that global change brings and during the stopovers, experiments will be carried out that complement the questions that TARA is asking the ocean.
“We will evaluate the intensity with which the biological pump is working using stable isotopes to measure photosynthesis in water, photosynthetic yield (how well the phytoplankton is healthy) and we will evaluate the diversity of the microbiome during the process of pumping CO2 from the atmosphere. We will try to do this on each scale in laboratories associated with our CEODOS initiative, in this particular one with the COPAS Sur-Austral and INCAR centers ”explains Dr. Camila Fernández, visiting professor at the Department of Oceanography at the University of Concepción, researcher at the CNRS and the INCAR, IDEAL and COPAS SUR AUSTRAL centers, and co-coordinator of the mission in Chile.
The expedition has the virtue of adding an interdisciplinary group of researchers to the same objective, ranging from sampling to data analysis. “There are many possible directions, but one that seems relevant to me is to have very complete information on the genomic and environmental aspects of coastal gradients in pristine areas and closer to man. We will have data, which together with current knowledge, can provide insights or a starting point to understand how the plankton microbe is structured in this change in conditions. This information over time can generate quantitative or semi-quantitative relationships that relate the composition of this microbiome to changes in the environment ”, says Alejandro Maass, director of the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of the University of Chile and co-coordinator of the mission in Chile.
“The CEODOS Chile mission will allow obtaining a unique latitudinal perspective of the microbiome biodiversity of carbon fluxes on the Chilean coast. The opportunities for synergy through national and international scientific collaboration are extraordinary. The team at our center will be dedicated to stimulating the aerobic and anaerobic respiration of microplankton, which is a crucial flow to understand the biological pump”, explained the Director of the INCAR Center, Dr. Renato Quiñones.
“This opportunity is particularly valuable in the Chilean sea since, due to the length of the coast, it is made up of different environments (the desert environment of the northern coast of Chile vs. the contribution of fresh water to the fjords by melting ice). of the glaciers of the North Ice Fields and South Patagonian Ice Fields), the reason that motivated us to join this initiative ”, explains the Director of the COPAS South-Austral Center, Dr. Silvio Pantoja, who adds that in the expedition they will contribute oceanographic and climatic dimension to genomic mapping objectives.
“The knowledge that the expedition gives us will allow scientists to generate recommendations, and these will be a very valuable input to evaluate future actions in public policies. Science is an important part of decision-making, where the social and environmental fields, among others, must also be considered; and given that we face serious threats, such as climate change, and our economic sector depends heavily on natural resources, we have to know its current state, in order to better prepare ourselves for these new challenges ”, expressed the Seremi de Ciencia y Tecnología from the Central-South Macrozone, Paulina Assmann.
“TARA is our first logistics platform to carry out our long-term monitoring. We have the support of the government through the Ministry of Science and Foreign Affairs and CEODOS is going in the same direction as the climate change observatory. Our aspiration is that the Cabo de Hornos ship will accompany us in 5 more years ”, adds Dr. Camila Fernández.
Among the activities scheduled for this stopover, a series of talks that will take place between Wednesday 07 and Friday 09 April with students and that have been co-coordinated with the PAR Explora of the regions of Maule, Ñuble, Biobío and Araucanía stand out. , and a webinar for the general public to be held on Saturday 10, at 4:00 p.m. via zoom. In both events, there will be the possibility to learn more about the mission, talk with the team of scientists and virtually tour the schooner.
The sailboat will remain in Talcahuano until Sunday the 11th, and then set sail for the city of Valparaíso, the port it will arrive at on April 21.
9 research centers of excellence in our country participate in the interdisciplinary study: Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM), Center for Climate and Resilience Science (CR2), Center for Dynamic Research of High-Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL), Center of Research in Ecosystems of Patagonia (CIEP), Oceanographic Research Center (COPAS Sur-Austral), Genome Regulation Center (CRG), Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR), the International Associated Laboratory “Multiscale Adaptive Strategies” (LIA MAST), and the French Institute for Research in Digital Sciences and Technologies (INRIA-Chile).06