Right now, we have a lot of Zostera marina microbiome samples from around the world. So, pairing that with the ZEN data, we should have a pretty nice ecological/biogeographical story, and hopefully we will soon have a postdoc to help us address questions about community assembly with those data.
Now, my attention is turning more earnestly towards the big evolutionary questions, and how to obtain the data we need to answer those. For the most part, because we are plugged in to a nice network of seagrass researchers, I don’t feel like getting all of the seagrass species that we’ll need is going to be too difficult. However, we are kinda lost when it comes to the fresh and brackish water and terrestrial relatives. I wouldn’t say that I’m panicking about it yet, but I am starting to feel like the right way to tackle the problem of collecting those samples is going to be to do it myself. In order to ask for help in collecting those samples, I’d have to:
1. Make a list of target species.
2. Find out their ranges and who is likely to have access to samples.
3. Contact the person/s who might be willing to go grab a sample for me.
4. Wait (hope) for that person to get back to me.
5. Send sampling supplies, and hope that they will be able to freeze samples for me (because the Zymo buffer is pretty sucky.)
6. Wait for the samples to be collected and returned to me.
The problem is that doing this for all of the target species could take forever. I have control over 1-3, but absolutely none over 4-6.
In the past, I’ve had success taking epic road trips and meeting researchers along the way who were willing to help me collect local species. So, I’m thinking that an approach like that might work here.
Here’s a list of the taxa of which I’d like to have representatives, and a tree of them below. I’ll start compiling range and contact information.
-Baidellia (or Baldellia)