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Date:10/29/2013

of using engineered microorganisms for a myriad of these challenges," he noted in his proposal. "Developing genome engineering technologies to drive high-throughput genetic modifications across genomes of diverse microorganisms, would vastly expand our ability to utilize microorganisms for DOE mission objectives."

Another selected project will explore airborne microbial communities and their influences on the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. Kostas Konstantinidis from Georgia Tech and his colleagues are concentrating on airborne microbes in the upper trophosphere, a region that contains almost all the water vapor of the atmosphere. In particular, they are seeking to characterize the conditions enabling the survival of microbes in this layer and their roles in cloud formation and the water cycle. This linkage of microbial processes and climate change processes is a bold new direction for DOE JGI.

The DOE JGI Plant Flagship Genomes initiative is another area of emphasis for the 2014 CSP call. These are plants sequenced for their potential as feedstock crops for biofuel production or else as comparators that will assist in the interpretation of feedstock crop genomes and potentially lead to their improvement for purposes of biofuel development. Many of the six selected projects focus on the poplar (black cottonwood) treethe first tree ever sequencedand published by the DOE JGI in the journal Science back in 2006. For example, Jay Chen from Oak Ridge National Laboratory will investigate gene expression in poplar populations. The goal is to use the information to identify genetic elements and transcriptional networks involved in plant cell wall development to improve the development of poplar as a feedstock for cost-effective, sustainable biomass production and conversion into biofuels. Another project, from Jonathan Shaw of Duke University, will leverage the first moss genome sequenced Physcomitrella patens - and expand the moss/bryophyte knowledgebase
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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