What is the Earth
HoloGenome Initiative?

EHI is an enterprise launched in 2020 aiming at promoting, facilitating, coordinating and standardising hologenomic research on wild organisms worldwide

The interaction between animals and gut microorganisms associated with them impacts a wide range of biological processes of hosts, microbes and environment. Current technology enables precise characterisation of both host genomes and microbial metagenomes, which opens a wealth of possibilities to study how host-microbiota interactions affect key processes such as speciation, adaptation to climate change, disease transmission...

Standardising research practices, sharing knowledge and resources, and coordinating is essential to generate accurate, reliable and reproducible results in an efficient way.
This is the reason for being of the Earth HoloGenome Initiative

What is hologenomics?

It is a new research approach that consist in jointly analysing host genomes and associated microorganisms' metagenomes to study the effect of their interactions in a range of biological fields

How are data generated?

Hologenomics largely relies on shotgun sequencing approaches, which consists in sequencing total DNA from biological samples. In EHI, both animal and microbial genomes are primarily generated from faecal material.

How can I participate?

We welcome as many researchers as possible to contribute to the initiative. All the details about participation in the Earth HoloGenome Initiative are described in the section about participation 

Specific aims of EHI

EHI is not a project but an initiative to promote and coordinate projects, and centralise the dissemination of the data and results.


Methods standardisation and optimisation

Microbial metagenomic data are very sensitive to sample obtaintion, preservation and processing techiques, and DNA quality also affects genomic characterisation of hosts. Laboratory procedures to generate data from samples are also expensive and highly sensitive to technical biases. Due to all these issues standardising laboratory procedures is essential in order to produce reproducible and comparable results.


Coordination and networking

Geographically expansive studies require obtaining samples in multiple countries. Obtaining sampling and sample export permits, and shipping samples across countries is a complex process that requires a centralised management for its smooth accomplishment.


Biological sample archiving

Most sampling techniques are not specific to the targetted animals, and many non-targetted animals are often captured. As we would like field samplings and animal manipulations to be as efficient as possible, we offer researchers and aficionados the possibility to get and store those samples to be later used in other projects, while getting proper credit for it.


Dissemination and outreach

EHI management team and the collaborators will work together in the publication and dissemination of the results in Open Access Journals and conferences


Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics, GLOBE Institute
University of Copenhagen
Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5, 7
1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark


Coordinator: Antton Alberdi, PhD
Email: ehi@sund.ku.dk