Microbial secondary metabolites may now be easier to characterize following a JGI proof-of-concept study in which researchers paired CRAGE and CRISPR technologies.
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.
Recently reported in Nature Communications, researchers led by Hal Alper at The University of Texas at Austin and Michael Jewett of Northwestern University describe a two-pronged approach that starts with engineered yeast cells but then moves out of the cell structure into a cell-free system. The work complements efforts to further develop sustainable alternative approaches for manufacturing bioproducts and biofuels. This is the first report of their work supported through the JGI’s Emerging Technologies Opportunity Program. Read the full story here on the JGI website.
Maize (Zea mays) produces a plethora of antibiotics called zealexins. These compounds protect maize by fending off fungal and microbial infections. Scientists had assumed that maize synthesizes these compounds via clear, straight pathways, entailing the function of more than a dozen enzymes. But now, with the help of JGI’s DNA synthesis capability, researchers know that just a handful of enzymes are needed to transform zealexins and related precursors into a bonanza of diverse structures. Read more of the science highlight on the JGI website.
A team led by University of Texas, Austin scientists has developed a more nuanced library approach to tuning gene expression in metabolic pathways. Compared to the traditional way, which leverages an all-or-nothing approach, they can now fine-tune the level of gene expression. In a study, they were able to identify variations of essential genes in metabolic networks that were missed using traditional approaches. The work appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more on the JGI website.