In June 2019 the DFG opened a call for consortia to apply for the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI): “The aim of the national research data infrastructure (NFDI) is to systematically manage scientific and research data, provide long-term data storage, backup and accessibility, and network the data both nationally and internationally. The NFDI will bring multiple stakeholders together in a coordinated network of consortia tasked with providing science-driven data services to research communities.”
The vision of the NFDI4Microbiota consortium is to make the analysis of multi-omics data related to microbial species and diverse microbiomes consistent, reproducible and accessible to all fields of the life science community. It will assist researchers with different scientific challenges to understand individual microbial species and communities as well as the interaction between the species in them. For this purpose, NFDI4Microbiota will provide the computational infrastructure, analytical tools and training for the community to compile, analyze and store various types of data with the aim to decipher microbial species (bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses) and interspecies interactions on a molecular level. The consortium will enable efficient and reproducible processing of omics data that are generated via high-throughput analysis devices. This includes genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes and metabolomes for individual species as well as the counterpart for microbiota namely metagenomes, meta-transcriptomes, meta-proteomes and meta-metabolomic data. Furthermore, currently emerging analysis approaches for data from single cell sequencing and high-throughput imaging will be supported. Additionally, the consortium will enable to enrich this data by metadata from databases and by knowledge automatically extracted from literature and make the data interoperable.
In order to provide a seamless data workflows, NFDI4Microbiota will collaborate with data generators like sequencing facilities and promote a direct deposition of measured data and connected metadata into the computational infrastructure provided by the consortium. The data will be passed through the analysis pipeline according to the wishes of the researchers who ordered the analysis and raw data, metadata as well as the results will be deposited in repositories for long term availability. NFDI4Microbiota will fully comply with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) principles and promote Open Science with all its facets. Sensitive personal data will be treated with necessary care and will undergo anonymization. As part of this, the consortium will define a required, rich set of metadata that describes the sampling conditions and will allow only the submission of data after metadata was provided and quality controlled.