A LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE OCEAN
The Ocean Genome Legacy Center has an unwavering commitment to preserving the diverse ocean life from our planet’s ocean.
WHO WE ARE
Ocean Genome Legacy is a nonprofit, marine research organization and biological specimen repository dedicated to exploring and preserving the wealth of information contained in the DNA of marine organisms.
WHAT WE DO
Our mission is to acquire, authenticate, study, preserve, develop, and distribute genetic materials, biological specimens, information, technology, and standards needed to advance basic and applied non-commercial research.
OUR BOLD VISION
By providing secure storage and broad public access to genomic materials and a forum for sharing samples, data, and ideas, OGL aims to serve as a catalyst for research that can help to protect marine ecosystems and improve the human condition.
WITH THE HELP OF OUR COllaboraTORS, OGL’S COLLECTION CONTAINS:
AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR CONSERVATIONISTS AND RESEARCHERS ALIKE
“We know that species are disappearing from the ocean at an alarming rate, and so much of what’s underwater remains a mystery to us; it would be a horrible shame if all of that biological diversity that we know is out there would disappear before we even had a chance to name all those species.”
DR. DAN DISTEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OCEAN GENOME LEGACY CENTER
TAKE A DIVE INTO OUR FEATURED COLLECTIONS
The Ocean Genome Legacy is trusted to collect, study, maintain, and share genomic data from our ocean. Through sponsorships and partnerships, we are able to provide data to ocean conservation organizations around the world. Take a quick look of some of our featured collections.
VISUALIZING THE OCEAN'S MYSTERIES
Northeastern’s Ocean Genome Legacy maintains a collection of marine DNA and tissue samples that is unlike anything else in the world. This has been visualized by melding incredible data visualization to impactful storytelling.
by Lia Petronio and Allie Nicodemo
What is the OGL?
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.
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 can we learn from marine genomes?
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 repository 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.
ALABAMA UNDERSEA FOREST
Supported by a grant from the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and led by OGL Director, Dr. Dan Distel, OGL scientists and divers are exploring the diversity of invertebrate animals and bacterial communities associated with an ancient undersea Cyprus forest. This project is the first biodiversity survey of an ancient submerged forest, and the findings will lead to advancements in medicine and biotechnology.
BLACK CORAL PROJECT
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded OGL a grant to build a reference DNA collection of black corals. OGL’s collection of legally obtained, well-documented black coral DNA samples helps scientists and law enforcement identify unknown samples for conservation purposes as well as basic research. OGL holds over 200 DNA samples representing over 100 different black coral species, including samples collected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Okeanos Explorer and those housed in the Smithsonian.
Genome Reource Rescue
OGL’s Genome Resource Rescue program reaches out to retiring researchers to give their collections a permanent home after they retire. These valuable specimens are then able to support research and conservation efforts around the world. Please contact OGL if you are interested in donating your collection.
SEAFOOD GENOME REFERENCE COLLECTION
Supported by grants from the National Fisheries Institute’s Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) and the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, OGL is building the Seafood Genome Reference Collection (SGRC), a valuable tool for supporting the development of new DNA-based seafood identification methods. The SGRC is a comprehensive and accessible public DNA, data, and tissue repository. It makes DNA-based seafood species identification possible by providing reference samples and DNA sequence data (DNA barcodes) to which unknown seafood samples can be compared.
Student projects in dna preservation
Amazing advances in DNA-based research demand improved methods for preserving high-quality DNA in biological samples. Surprisingly, scientists still use many of the same preservative methods used by Darwin over 150 years ago (e.g., ethanol and formaldehyde). In part, this is because preservative research takes a very long time and is not very rewarding for graduate students, postdocs, and new faculty. However, it’s a terrific topic for undergraduate students who are not under pressure to publish. OGL’s Student Research in DNA Preservation project addresses these long-term questions by linking together sequential undergraduate research projects. Our aim is to do high-quality research while giving undergraduate students a complete research experience, touching on all aspects of the scientific process from formulating a question to publishing the results.
TO SUPPORT AND ENHANCE RESESARCH EFFORTS, THE OGL CAN:
The Ocean Genome Legacy enhances the impact of your research by making your valuable samples widely available to the research community.
The Ocean Genome Legacy reduces the environmental impact of your research by minimizing the unnecessary collection of new samples.
The Ocean Genome Legacy can improve the security of your valuable samples with 24/7/365 temperature monitoring and emergency backup power.
BE A PARTNER
The Ocean Genome Legacy can consult with you about best practices for sample collection and storage.