Request for Proposal (RFPMUS2022-015) – Laboratory Contractor for Genomic analyses for determination of genetic connectivity and heat resilient corals for the UNDP supported Adaptation Fund financed 'Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to Meet a Changing Climate Future’ project.
The ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to Meet a Changing Climate Future’ project was approved by the Adaptation Fund in October 2018 following a regional call for proposals under the themes of Food Security and Disaster Risk Reduction. The project budget of USD 10 M will benefit Mauritius and Seychelles through coral restoration activities as well as capacity building programems and knowledge exchange for the region. The project is implemented under the Direct Implementation Modality (DIM). Executing partners involved are the Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) and the Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) under the aegis of the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping in the Republic of Mauritius, the Marine Conservation Society (MCSS), Nature Seychelles, the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment (MACCE) in the Republic of Seychelles. The project implementation started in 2020 and the duration is six years (72 months).
The overall objective of the project is to reduce the impact of climate change on local communities and coral reef-dependent economic sectors in the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles by implementing coral reef restoration with thermal tolerant corals as adaptation to climate change.
Previous studies on ocean currents and seasonal currents in the Indian Ocean suggest that there is connection between the different islands in the south western Indian Ocean region. If some coral species are found to be genetically identical, the propagation and maintenance of common coral stocks in both countries could attenuate the risk during future disturbance events. On the other hand, in case the coral stocks from the different islands are unique, then these stocks should be preserved.
In this context, a field campaign was carried out in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles for the sampling of Acropora muricata and of Pocillopora damicornis, with a view to undertaking genomic analyses for determination of genomic connectivity and variation across the different islands and heat resilient corals.
Following the coral sampling, the DNA was extracted in 346 samples of Acropora muricata and 422 samples of Pocillopora damicornis. The DNA extracts are stored at the laboratory of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute in Albion, Mauritius.
Scope of Work and Expected Outputs
UNDP will provide DNA extracts for 346 samples of Acropora muricata and 422 samples of Pocillopora damicornis to the Contractor (hereinafter the “DNA Extracts”).
The selected Contractor will:
(i) Arrange for the collection and transportation of DNA extracts from the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, Albion, Mauritius to the laboratory where the analysis will be conducted.
In this regard, the Contractor should include in its bid the cost of the carriage and forwarding company with whom it will partner for this assignment for the collection and transportation of all the coral samples as per required protocol and quality control requirements.
(ii) Provide, for 346 samples of Acropora muricata and 422 samples of Pocillopora damicornis, a genome sequencing profile with the following requirements:
- Ability to detect allelic variations through genome coverage;
- Ability to detect Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in coral genome;
- Reduction in repetitive fraction of the genome/repeated sequences;
- Enrichment of genic sequences but not limited to the exome sequencing;
- Restriction digest at hypomethylated sites (CpG);
- At least 1.5 million reads per sample;
- Ability to compare sequenced data with Diversity Array Technology dataset or other applicable; and
- Sequencing technique adapted to corals.
(iii) SPECIAL CONDITIONS:
The selected Contractor shall undertake to abide by any relevant provisions of the Nagoya Protocol (available at https://www.cbd.int/abs/text/), as applicable in the context of this assignment. In this regard, the Contractor agrees to the following:
a) The DNA Extracts provided by UNDP to the Contractor under this assignment will be used solely for the purpose of providing the Services under this Contract. Upon expiration or termination of the Contract, all DNA Extracts provided by UNDP to the Contractor will be destroyed by the Contractor after completion of the genomic analyses conducted under this Contract. The Contractor shall notify UNDP in writing once destruction of the DNA Extracts has been completed, and provide any reasonable proof that may be requested by UNDP.
b) The Contractor will treat the results of the genomic analyses and the Deliverables under the Contract as Confidential Information (as defined in Section 18 of UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions for Contracts) and will under no circumstances be shared, given, disclosed or permit the results to be disclosed to any third party, even after expiration or termination of the Contract.
Duration of the Work
The duration of the work will be 2 months while the contract duration will be 4 months.
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UNDP OFFICE Mauritius & Seychelles