On 28th April CIRCLES project partners were meeting (as per the new normal online) for their first General Assembly.

We are very proud to have achieved our first major milestones! All CIRCLES labs-in-the-field are up and running and the first samples in all our seven food chains are already being collected. In our experiments we are researching the microbiome of spinach and tomato plants, poultry and pig, domestic and wild salmon and sea bream populations. Observational trials are ongoing with the first trial on chickens having been completed by now. Microbiome samples are taken non-invasively from host plants or animals across the whole production cylce of a specific food product. In some food chains, we will even assess the microbiome within the processes and farm workers to explore where potential microbial exchange and sharing could take place. Furthermore, we have developed and set up a drone sampling platform from which the air microbiome on our food farms (a.k.a. lab in the fields) can be sampled.

The meeting was also a perfect opportunity to catch up on another activity that we have planned which is the CIRCLES City Tour! Within the project auto sampling kits were developed that can be used to collect human microbial skin samples. Starting from 2021 events will take place across the European cities of Brussels, Helsinki, Paris, Mazara del Vallo and Bologna which will give people the possibility to check their own skin microbiome and learn more about the potential of microbiome applications in a sustainable food system.

We are looking forward to our next planned meeting, that will take place in September hopefully offline in Greece.