Four undergraduate students from Arizona State University (ASU), all of Native American heritage, participated in an eight-week summer internship at Berkeley Lab as part of the ASU-Berkeley Lab STEM Pathways program.
Scientists have discovered flagella in an unexpected place: hot spring-dwelling bacteria from the phylum Chloroflexota. Research shows that flagella were lost in other forms of Chloroflexota that adapted to marine environments hundreds of millions of years ago.
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.
Biosciences Area staff recently hosted 40 PhD students from Wageningen University in the Netherlands over two days at Emery Station East (ESE) and the Integrative Genomics Building (IGB). The group launched their two-week California tour in the Bay Area, stopping by local biotechnology companies and prominent academic research institutions. The contingent visited ESE to tour the facility, make presentations, and discuss potential collaborations. At the IGB, the students attended a day-long symposium that included short talks, tours of several user facilities, and a poster reception.
Microorganisms play key roles in regulating global nutrient cycles but only a small fraction has been identified and an even smaller number has been successfully cultured in a lab for study. In Nature Biotechnology, the known diversity of bacteria and archaea has now expanded by 44% through a publicly available collection of more than 52,000 microbial genomes from environmental samples. Of that number, 70% of the novel genome sequences were previously unknown, not yet cultured in the lab. The work results from a JGI-led collaboration involving more than 200 scientists around the world, KBase and NERSC. Read more about the genomic catalog of Earth’s microbiomes on the JGI website.