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US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute announces new genome sequencing projects
Date:7/2/2008

cture of the pine genome. Led by Daniel Peterson of Mississippi State University, the project is intended to zero in on genes that can be used for molecular breeding programs to improve Loblolly as a biomass feedstock, carbon sequestration tool, and source of renewable, high-quality raw materials for lumber and pulp fiber.

The CSP selections range from these tall pines to not-so-sizable aquatic plants in duckweedthe smallest, fastest growing, and simplest of flowering plants. Greater Duckweed, Spirodela polyrhiza, is still relatively small at less than 10 millimeters. Nevertheless, its utility is manifold: as a biotech protein factory, toxicity testing organism, wastewater remediator, high-protein animal feed, carbon cycling player, as well as basic research and evolutionary model system.

"These plants produce biomass faster than any other flowering plant, and their carbohydrate content is readily converted to fermentable sugars by using commercially available enzymes developed for corn-based ethanol production," said Rubin. "Moreover, duckweed relates to all three of DOE JGI's mission areas: bioenergy, bioremediation, and global carbon cycling." Propagated on agricultural and municipal wastewater, Spirodela species efficiently extract excess nitrogen and phosphate pollutants. Duckweed growth on ponds effectively reduces algal growth (by shading), coliform bacteria counts, suspended solids, evaporation, biological oxygen demand, and mosquito larvae while maintaining pH, concentrating heavy metals, sequestering or degrading halogenated organic and phenolic compounds, and encouraging the growth of aquatic animals such as frogs and fowl. This project, submitted by Todd Michael of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, unites the efforts of six institutions. The DOE JGI has selected several metagenomes to sequencecomplex microbial communities that are isolated directly from the environment or reside
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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