The proposal from Michelle O'Malley from the University of California, Santa Barbara also builds from a previous DOE JGI project, one that characterized the microbial communities in the cow rumen. In this new proposal, however, the researchers will target anaerobic fungi in communities isolated from large herbivores (elephant, giraffe, goat, horse, and sheep) that are involved in breaking down plant biomass. Novel isolates that possess desirable enzymatic properties will be used for the construction of metabolic models to drive improvements in bioprocessing strategies.
Finally, Harold Kistler from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service will focus on compounds known as terpenoids that are produced by plants and filamentous fungi including Fusarium graminearum. The goal is to determine a way to efficiently and abundantly produce terpenoids in filamentous fungi, so that they can be evaluated as renewable biofuels that have higher energy content than ethanol and could be more compatible with existing fuel infrastructure. Aside from using the DOE JGI's RNA sequencing, the work will be enabled by EMSL's flow cytometry and mass spectrometry capabilities.
The remaining 29 accepted projects, more traditional DOE-JGI sequencing projects, were chosen for their relevance to other goals of the CSP 2014 call, and will be carried out entirely at DOE JGI. Farren Isaacs from Yale University is leading a DNA synthesis project that will identify and synthesize metagenome-derived enzymes that can be introduced into microbes to address challenges in bioremediation, global carbon cycling and development of alternative energy strategies. "Recent advances in synthetic biology increase the prospect
|Contact: David Gilbert|
DOE/Joint Genome Institute