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

ose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Many microorganisms are capable of utilizing cellulose and hemicellulose as carbon and energy sources, but a much smaller group of filamentous fungi has evolved with the ability to depolymerize lignin, the most recalcitrant component of plant cell walls. Collectively known as white rot fungi, they possess the unique ability to efficiently depolymerize lignin in order to gain access to cell wall carbohydrates for carbon and energy sources. Ceriporiopsis subvermispora rapidly depolymerizes lignin with relatively little cellulose degradation. The annotated gene set of C. subvermispora and comparative analyses with the lignin degraders P. chrysosporium and Pleurotus ostreatus (both sequenced by DOE JGI) will advance the understanding of these complex oxidative mechanisms involved in lignocellulose conversions. This project was proposed by Dan Cullen from the University of WisconsinMadison.

  • The CSP selections draw from all three branches of life: eukaryotes (such as plants and fungi), bacteria, and archaea. Desulfurococcus fermentans, isolated from the Uzon Caldera on the Kamchatka Peninsula, is the only known archaeon that breaks down cellulose and, unlike most known microorganisms that carry out fermentation, it produces hydrogen in the presence of hydrogen while fermenting cellulose and starch without experiencing an inhibition of growth. A comparative genomics investigation of Desulfurococcus species will resolve the finer details that distinguish proton reduction (producing hydrogen) from sulfur reduction in fermentative archaea and help to define the evolutionary and metabolic relationships of the Desulfurococcus species with their archaeal relatives. The project's principal investigator is Biswarup Mukhopadhyay of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

  • Among the holy grails of biofuel production is the perfect concoction of enzymes capable of rendering complex biomass into fuel by a
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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