WALNUT CREEK, CA -- A powerful set of computational tools established to ease the visualization and exploration of genomes flooding the public domain is now available in IMG Version 2.3 -- the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI).
The content of IMG 2.3, upgraded with new microbial genomes from the Version 23 release of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Reference Sequence (RefSeq) collection, now includes fungi, protists (eukaryotic unicellular organisms), and plant genomes to enhance the breadth of comparative analysis. A new addition of particular interest to DOE is Pichia stipitis CBS 6054, a fungus with the exceptional capability to ferment xylose, five-carbon wood sugar, and yield high levels of ethanol.
"Using comparative approaches is a powerful means to increase our understanding of gene function," said Scott Baker, a Senior Research Scientist on the Fungal Biotechnology Team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "My research is centered on fungi, so I am employing IMG 2.3 to advance our efforts to identify relevant pathways in fungi for bioenergy applications."
Baker and his colleagues, building on the pioneering work on fungal model systems that led to such biotechnology workhorses as Aspergillus niger, are currently investigating Aspergillus terreus, now incorporated in IMG 2.3, for its ability to produce itaconic acid. Products generated from itaconic acid via chemical catalysis could be used to displace petroleum-derived chemicals. This and other organic acids that can be produced by fungi and other microbes are highlighted in the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office of the Biomass Program sponsored "Top Value-Added Chemicals From Biomass" study performed jointly by PNNL and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (htt
|Contact: David Gilbert|
DOE/Joint Genome Institute