Numerous Biosciences Area personnel are among the 2021 Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards honorees. This annual program recognizes outstanding contributions by employees to all facets of Lab activities. A complete list of winners can be found here. The 10th annual Director’s Awards ceremony will take place on November 18 at noon.
Assembling viral genomes from metagenomes is challenging and often results in highly fragmented data, which limits the ability of researchers to accurately perform functional assessment, host prediction, and phylogenetic analysis. As reported in Nature Biotechnology, a team including JGI’s Stephen Nayfach, Frederik Schulz, Emiley Eloe-Fadrosh, Simon Roux and Nikos Kyrpides developed an automated tool called CheckV (pronounced “Check-Vee”) to help researchers assess and improve the quality of metagenome-assembled viral genomes. CheckV has already been applied to over 2.4 million viral genomes available in the latest release of IMG/VR, a database that is part of the Integrated Microbial Genomes & Microbiomes (IMG/M) suite. Learn more here on the JGI website.
Previous work on microbial mats had primarily relied on culturing virus and host pairs in the laboratory to study their interactions. In The ISME Journal, a team co-led by JGI postdoctoral researcher Mária Džunková used single-cell sequencing to sequence both a cell’s genome and detect accompanying viral sequences, which would suggest the virus had been infecting the cell. Read the full story on the JGI website.
Through a decade-long time-series study recently reported in Microbiome, a team led by Rick Cavicchioli of Australia’s University of New South Wales and including JGI researchers found that light-harvesting bacteria in Antarctica’s Ace Lake defy the norm when it comes to nutrient cycling in polar regions. While microbial populations in other Antarctic lakes and the nearby Southern Ocean shift from phototrophs to archaea when sunlight becomes scant, Ace Lake’s bacteria instead go through a boom and bust cycle aligned with light availability. Read more on the JGI website.
Congratulations to JGI research scientist Simon Roux, who is among the Berkeley Lab scientists awarded significant funding for research through the DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program (ECRP). A total of 76 ERCP recipients were selected this year. The scientists are each expected to receive grants of up to $2.5 million over five years to cover salary and research expenses.