A new paper from Biosciences researchers in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) reveals the possibility that many of the proteins we thought we knew actually exist in other, unknown shapes.
Microbial secondary metabolites, those molecules not essential for growth yet essential for survival, may now be easier to characterize following a JGI proof-of-concept study in which researchers paired CRISPR and CRAGE technologies. CRAGE (developed by a JGI team led by Yasuo Yoshikuni) offers CRISPR a point of entry into microbes that it previously lacked. Then, by using CRISPR to knock out or activate genes, researchers at the JGI were able to monitor loss- and gain-of-function, with the analytical data showing peaks and valleys in secondary metabolites as genes are edited. The pairing proved to rapidly confirm enhanced production of 22 metabolites from six biosynthetic gene clusters. One of those was a metabolite from a previously uncharacterized biosynthetic gene cluster. Learn more on the JGI website.
Neslihan Taş, a research scientist with the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area who is affiliated with the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, is studying how microbial processes shift as arctic permafrost melts. She’s working with the BSISB team to leverage infrared tools to reveal new patterns in biogeochemical cycles.
In a pair of recently published papers, members of the Biomedical Data Translator Consortium detailed new features, functionality, and applications of the Translator system and its underlying data model, the Biolink Model.
A Berkeley Lab team analyzed the genotypes and phenotypes of several Arthrobacter strains to correlate cellular functions to their location at varying depths within a single sediment core and in nearby groundwater. They found that Arthrobacter, as a genus, has remarkable flexibility in altering its suites of carbon degradation genes. This genomic variation was found to be linked to the individual strain’s environment and is the basis for Arthrobacter’s ability to break down a wide variety of complex carbon sources.