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The VEGA 2022 symposium aims to bring together a “viral ecogenomics” community to foster discussion on how to best capture and characterize uncultivated viruses, understand the role of viruses in natural ecosystems, and functionally explore viral genetic diversity toward innovative biotechnological and industrial applications. This 2022 edition will focus in particular on experimental innovations, computational advances, and other technological developments that will enable researchers to functionally characterize novel viral diversity and investigate virus-virus and virus-host interactions in nature. The symposium will also include organized discussion sessions to gather input from the community on the most pressing challenges faced by researchers in the viral ecogenomics fields.

Participants will notably be invited to open discussions designed to shape the future design of IMG/VR (the database of uncultivated viral genomes) to maximize its usefulness for the different actors in the field (i.e. gene-centric experimental approaches, ecosystem models, host-based evolutionary analysis, etc), as well as frame a potential viral-focused calls for projects at the JGI.