JGI users studied microbial communities at hydrothermal vents and underwater volcanoes. They found a wealth of diversity in the microorganisms there, which could lead to the development of new biotechnologies around clean energy, biofuels and bioproducts.
The JGI Fuels Discovery in Sphagnum Sex Chromosomes
In Nature Plants, the JGI helped drive the discovery into the role sphagnum’s sex chromosomes play in carbon sequestration.
A Biofuel Breakthrough, Courtesy of Fungi
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. In this case, the “job” is the breakdown of lignin, the structural molecule that gives plants strength and rigidity. One of the most abundant terrestrial polymers (large molecules made of repeating subunits called monomers) on Earth, lignin surrounds valuable plant fibers and other molecules that could be converted into biofuels and other commodity chemicals – if we could only get past that rigid plant cell wall.
JGI Researchers Trace the Evolution of Shiitake Mushrooms
These fungi are part of the genus Lentinula, which have evolved to decompose hardwoods on every continent besides Europe and Antarctica. Lentinula mushrooms are white rot fungi, belonging to an elite group of decomposers that can break down all of wood’s components — cellulose, hemicellulose, and the toughest molecule, lignin. Understanding Lentinula genomes and their evolution could provide strategies for converting plant waste into sugars for biofuel production.
Biosciences Area FY23 LDRD Projects
The projects of 22 Biosciences Area scientists and engineers received funding through the FY23 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program.
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