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To Find New Biofuel Enzymes, It Can Take a Microbial Village

In search of new plant enzymes? Try looking in compost. Researchers at JBEI have demonstrated the importance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be used to convert plants to biofuels. This approach yields robust enzymes that researchers can’t easily obtain from isolates.

Genome Research Challenges Previous Understanding of the Origin of Photosynthesis

Plant biologists at Berkeley Lab, in collaboration with colleagues from Caltech, have reconstructed the evolutionary history of photosynthesis to provide new insight into the yet-unfolding story of its origins.

X-ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Berkeley Lab scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

DOE Renews Funding for Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab

The Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led by Berkeley Lab, is one of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers to receive funding in support of innovative research on biofuels and bioproducts. The four centers will receive a total of $40 million. The award marks the next research phase at JBEI, originally established in 2007.

A Whole-Genome Sequenced Rice Mutant Resource for the Study of Biofuel Feedstocks

Researchers at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute, in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, are reporting the first whole-genome sequence of a mutant population of Kitaake, a model variety of rice. Their high-density, high-resolution catalog of mutations facilitates the discovery of novel genes and functional elements that control diverse biological pathways.

Could This Enzyme Help Turn Biofuel Waste into Something Useful?

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute are looking to common soil bacteria for help in converting aryl compounds, a common waste product from biofuels synthesis, into something of value.

Finding Diamonds in the Rough

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center used crystallography and biophysical methods to better understand how the NOV1 enzyme breaks down a a stilbene substrate into two smaller compounds. Understanding this unusual chemical reaction brings insight on how to generate desirable biofuels and bioproducts from biomass deconstruction.

Navigating an Ocean of Biological Data in the Modern Era

Scientists and software engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a new -omics visualization tool, Arrowland, which combines different realms of functional genomics data in a single intuitive interface. The aim of this system is to provide scientists an easier way to navigate the ever-growing amounts of biological

High School Summer Research Program Seeks to Foster Diversity in Science

The Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) program provides Bay Area high school students with valuable hands-on experience in the lab and guidance for continuing a career in science.

New workflow to help microbe-based biofuels production

The development of omics technologies, such as metabolomics and proteomics, and systems biology have dramatically enhanced the ability to understand biological phenomena. However, the interpretation of large omics data and the understanding of complex metabolic interactions in engineered microbes remains challenging. A new open-source workflow developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy