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Date:10/29/2013

From the depths of ocean dead zones, to wide swaths of forests, and rising up to the troposphere, where most weather changes occur, the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) 2014 Community Science Program portfolio seeks to parse functional information extracted from complex ecosystems to address urgent energy and environmental challenges. These massive, data-intensive undertakings require interdisciplinary approaches, many leveraging additional expertise through a new inter-DOE-Facility partnership.

Reflecting its vision of serving the scientific community as a next-generation genome science user facility, the DOE JGI has joined forces with the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to provide complementary scientific resources to significantly expand genomic understanding to cellular function. The inaugural round of eight accepted proposals showcases the synergy between these two DOE user facilities.

Five of the eight new DOE JGI-EMSL proposals going forward will focus on carbon cycling and three relate to improvements in biofuels production. Each of these projects will tap the capabilities at both facilities to further the research in ways that would not otherwise be possible, and all are targeted for completion within an 18-month time window.

Two of the carbon cycling projects focus on soil microbial communities. Mary Firestone from the University of California, Berkeley will study the plant-soil-microbial interactions of an annual grass Avena fatua with soil from a California grassland, a model ecosystem for further exploration of the rhizosphere, the soil and microbial community around plant roots. By combining DNA sequencing with the study of unique chemical traces that the cells produce (metabolomics) and the large-scale study of their protein structures and functions (proteomics), this project will lend insights into how changing climate conditio
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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