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Date:10/29/2013

f">cyanobacteria. The GEBA-Cyano project has doubled the amount and diversity of cyanobacterial genome sequence data in the public databases. Hess' project will develop a Functional Encyclopedia of Cyanobacteria with the help of samples provided by the Culture Collection of Microorganisms from Extreme Environments, to better understand photosynthetic microbial communities and their central role in carbon and nitrogen cycling. Another project comes from the J. Craig Venter Institute's Philip Weyman, who will study the interactions between the Pleurocarpous feathery moss and cyanobacteria found in boreal forests. Since these ecosystems are enormous carbon sinks, their health and productivity is of vital importance to monitoring and moderating future increases in CO2.

Another carbon cycling project involves a family of wood-degrading fungi known as Ascomycetes, which include molds and mildews. Colleen Hansel at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute will focus on these organisms, which take leading roles in breaking down lignocellulose in contaminated sites. The initial focus will be on sequencing samples that are isolated from contaminated freshwater lake sediments and coal mine drainage treatment systems, and then by using the metabolomic and proteomic analyses capabilities at EMSL she seeks to identify the metabolic pathways that are involved in breaking down carbon in these organisms.

Three projects focus on biofuels and the role of fungi improving production of them. Steve Harris from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will build upon previous DOE JGI sequencing of the industrially important filamentous fungi Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma reesei. A strain of A. niger is critical to the large-scale production of citric acid while other strains provide enzymes that can break down plant cell walls to free up sugars that can then be fermented and distilled into biofuel. T. reesei is the workhorse organism for a number of industrial enzyme
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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