PyriSentinel
Interregs projects
Project duration: 
Jan 2024 to Dec 2026

Introduction

The PyriSentinel project, focused on the Pyrenees, will study the microorganisms of high mountain lakes using advanced DNA sequencing techniques. This region, with a warming rate higher than the global average, is a key observatory for the impacts of global change. Approximately 300 lakes will be examined, which due to their geographical isolation, extreme conditions, and climatic variations, harbour a significant diversity of microorganisms. Characterization of planktonic communities is crucial for the study of ecosystem productivity, as they are involved in the nutrient cycle, water purification, and relationships with macroorganisms at both a trophic level and through their pathogenic potential. Biomonitoring will help evaluate the health status of the ecosystems and their genetic heritage and to study the possible consequences of environmental changes in these sentinel lakes.

The project, involving experts from France, Spain, and Andorra, promotes the consolidation of knowledge and coordination of policies against environmental changes. It includes (1) the implementation of innovative techniques for the collection and analysis of microorganism samples, and (2) training in these techniques, involving local communities to increase awareness about this research. In addition to scientific research, (3) PyriSentinel commits to public participation and knowledge dissemination. PyriSentinel will provide a detailed insight into the genetic diversity of aquatic microorganisms in the Pyrenees, promoting advanced techniques, establishing a benchmark in genomics-based biomonitoring, contributing to the international effort to characterize the global microbiome, and equipping professionals for effective monitoring in the future, tracking the potential long-term impacts of climate change on these unique ecosystems.

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