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

tion engines. Geochemical analysis has shown that botryococcenes, presumably from ancient B. braunii communities, also comprise a portion of the hydrocarbon masses in several modern-day petroleum and coal deposits.

While algae have been recognized for their role in carbon sequestration and for biofuels production, little information, either genetic or metabolic, has been reported for this particular organism. This project, led by Andrew Koppisch and colleagues from Los Alamos National Laboratory and five other institutions, will target the identification of specific metabolic pathways responsible for hydrocarbon synthesis to alleviate bottlenecks in biofuels production.

Other CSP 2009 projects include the following:

  • One metagenome project entails a sampling of the foregut of Opisthocomus hoazina leaf-eating Amazonian pheasant-like stinkbird, or hoatzin. A prehistoric relic, its unique fermentative organ harbors an impressive array of novel microbes, like that of cows and other ruminants. Instead of a rumen, stinkbirds possess a crop, an enlargement of the esophagus where the fermentation takes placeand the source of the stink. The characterization of its contents will likely lead to the identification of novel microbial enzymes that degrade plant cell walls.

  • Nanoflagellates, a group of marine microbes, prey on other microbes, such as bacteria and phytoplankton, for survival. These predatory protists play a critical role in marine carbon cycling. An International team of investigators led by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's Alexandra Worden will investigate the genetic mechanism behind the processes of predation, digestion, and biomass incorporation by protists that determine the fate of phytoplankton and bacteria to bridge the gap in our knowledge about this important player in the marine food web.

  • The most abundant source of carbon is plant biomass, composed primarily of cellul
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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