DOE Joint Genome Institute
November 25, 2013
How Scavenging Fungi Became a Plant’s Best Friend. Glomeromycota is an ancient lineage of fungi that has a symbiotic relationship with roots that goes back nearly 420 million years to the earliest plants. More than two thirds of the world’s plants depend on this soil-dwelling symbiotic fungus to survive, including critical agricultural crops such as wheat, cassava, and rice. more...
November 22, 2013
The Inner Workings of a Bacterial Black Box Caught on Time-lapse Video. Cyanobacteria, found in just about every ecosystem on Earth, are one of the few bacteria that can create their own energy through photosynthesis and “fix” carbon – from carbon dioxide molecules – and convert it into fuel inside of miniscule compartments called carboxysomes. more...
November 22, 2013
Monkeying around with gene shuffling. Plants of the Mimulus genus are named for their characteristic flowers that resemble a scrunched-up monkey face. A near cousin to the oft-domesticated snapdragon, the plant’s flowers often sport “bee lines” to guide pollinators.
A significant portion of the DOE JGI's projects are related to bioenergy and focus on three areas: developing plant feedstocks; using microbes to break down cellulose in plant cell walls; and fermenting sugars into biofuels.
With over one million species, fungi—which include mushrooms—represent one of the largest under-explored branches of the Tree of Life. Together with its community of more than 1,000 scientific collaborators, JGI is helping to unlock the secrets encoded in the genomes of fungi to advance a better understanding of the global carbon cycle and to develop new biotechnology products, next-generation biofuels, and medicines.