Meta-Hg working group

Background: Created in July 2020, the Meta-Hg working group aims to promote best practices for the detection of Hg-cycling genes in environmental metagenomes. Our three main goals are :

  • Compile and curate an up-to-date catalogue of Hg-cycling genes.

  • Establish a protocol to detect Hg-cycling genes from environmental metagenomes.

  • Study the distribution of Hg-cycling microorganims in marine ecosystems.


This working group is coordinated by Eric Capo funded by the Severo Ochoa Excellence Program postdoctoral fellowship (2021-2023, CEX2019-000928-S) with advisor Andrea Garcia Bravo.


  • July 2022 - Publication "A consensus protocol for the recovery of mercury methylation genes from metagenomes" Eric Capo, Benjamin D. Peterson, Minjae Kim, Daniel S. Jones, Silvia G. Acinas, Marc Amyot, Stefan Bertilsson, Erik Björn, Moritz Buck, Claudia Cosio, Dwayne A. Elias, Cynthia Gilmour, Maria Soledad Goñi Urriza, Baohua Gu, Heyu Lin, Yu-Rong Liu, Katherine McMahon, John W. Moreau, Jarone Pinhassi, Mircea Podar, Fernando Puente-Sánchez, Pablo Sánchez, Veronika Storck, Yuya Tada, Adrien Vigneron, David Walsh, Marine Vandewalle-Capo, Andrea G. Bravo, Caitlin M. Gionfriddo - Early view in Molecular Ecology Resources.

  • March 2022 - Release of the pipeline marky-coco. Marky-coco is a ready-to-use pipeline to detect and identify hgcAB genes from raw paired-end fastq files.

  • February 2022 - Poster "Towards building a consensus protocol for the recovery of the genes involved in mercury methylation (hgcAB) from environmental genomic data" - in Ocean Science Meeting 2022, virtual meeting.

  • January 2021  - Release of the Hg-MATE database v1.01142021. It includes a gene catalogue and tools to detect (HMM profiles) and taxomically identified (reference phylogenetic trees) potential mercury methylators (i.e., carrying hgcAB genes).




Members of the Meta-Hg working group