China Soil Microbiome Initiative (CSMI) was initiated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) as a strategic priority research program in July of 2014, it is considered the largest single scientific effort in China with a 5-year fund of 250 million RMB (equivalent to ~40 million US dollars) for exploration of the key roles of soil microbiomes in ensuring food security and ecosystem service. CSMI covers the following four projects:
1. Biogeographic patterns of soil microbial community and the underlying mechanisms, to examine the diversity and biogeographical patterns of soil microbiome in the main terrestrial ecosystems in China;
2. Microbial processes of element biogeochemical cycling in soils, to elucidate the microbial ecology of the biogeochemistry of key elements;
3. Regulating the interactions between above- and below-ground biological processes for efficient nitrogen and phosphorus use by plants controls, to characterize the interactions and linkage between above- and below-ground processes;
4. Technology innovation for study of soil microbiome, to develop new technologies and methodologies for soil microbiome studies.
The CSMI is organized by CAS teams in close collaboration with scientists from universities and other research institutes, and the best available talents within China are well assembled in order to carry out the four projects of CSMI. To ensure the implementation of the CSMI, a steering committee is established with vice president of CAS, Prof. Zhong-Li DING as the Chair who audit and evaluate progress, being responsible for scientific and technical consultation and advice. The working group is composed of top active soil biologists in China, to design the program and formulate research teams. Together with project leaders, the designated chief scientist will be responsible for the overall implementation of the program.
It is expected that the CSMI will bring significant breakthroughs in characterizing soil microbial systems and their functions in diverse Chinese soils, and will lay solid foundations for the exploration of the key roles of soil microbiome in ensuring food security and environmental quality. It is also envisaged that the implementation of the program will train new talents in soil biology research, will gain international recognition to facilitate closer collaborations.
More information could be found at http://csmi.issas.ac.cn/