Efforts to Link Ecological Metadata with Bacterial Gene Sequences at the Sapelo Island Microbial Observatory Wade M. SHELDON, Mary Ann MORAN and James T. HOLLIBAUGH – The existence of public databases for archiving genetic sequence data, such as GenBank and the Ribosomal Database Project, coupled with the availability of standardized sequence alignment and comparison tools has led to rapid advances in the field of bacterial genetics and systematics.