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Date:10/29/2013

by sequencing peat moss (Sphagnum magellanicum) to learn more about its role on the global carbon budget.

Another area of interest in this year's CSP call is microbial diversity and function. Among the approved projects is one from Michael Wagner from Austria's University of Vienna, who will test a novel method for identifying ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in wastewater sludge. These bacteria are key drivers of the nitrogen cycle and essential in wastewater treatment plants for the removal of nitrogen from sewage.

A total of eight fungal projects were approved from this year's call. One is led by Istvan Molnar from the University of Arizona and focuses on gene clusters from sequences in the DOE JGI's fungal portal MycoCosm. The researchers will identify genes involved in producing compounds that play a role in plant-microbial interactions, plant stress tolerance or plant/fungal symbioses.

A third area of emphasis this year was microbial emission and capture of greenhouse gases in terrestrial systems. These projects focus on carbon capture, nitrogen processing and methane reduction. From the 10 prokaryotic projects approved out of the CSP 2014 call, many of them focus on understanding the roles of soil microbial communities on the carbon cycle in a number of environments. For example, Erik Lilleskov from the USDA Forest Service will study microbial communities involved in carbon cycle in peatland ecosystems. Peatlands, his proposal noted, represent up to five percent of the land surface but sequester as much as one third of the soil organic carbon.

The final area of emphasis for the call focused on the DOE JGI's DNA synthesis capabilities, and many of the six projects approved, including the one from Isaacs described earlier, primarily focus on exploring pathways that could lead to bioenergy and environmental applications. For example, the proposal from UC Berkeley's Ming Hammond will build and charac
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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