The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) started this program in 2012, as set forth in its 10-year strategic vision to serve community science as a user facility pioneering functional genomics to solve the most relevant bioenergy and environmental problems. The mission of the DNA Synthesis Science Program is to enable users to perform state-of-the-art functional genomics research and to help them translate genomic information into biological function. Our strategies are to provide users:
- Access to large-scale DNA synthesis and assembly capabilities (up to 400 K bases/proposal for independent PIs and 1.2 M bases/proposal for consortiums)
- Access to integrated genome technologies and informatics pipelines — from sequencing data generation and database mining including JGI genome databases (Genome portal; bacteria: IMG; fungi: MycoCosm; plants: Phytozome), to construct design, DNA synthesis, microbial strain engineering, transcriptomics, and high-throughput functional characterization.
Additionally, our value proposition is to enable users to study the function of genes that are otherwise difficult to source from environmental samples, including uncultured microbes and higher plants. For consortium-type projects, we can provide project management and help coordinate the consortiums to publish articles on the highest impact journals.
Among major initiatives of the DNA Synthesis Science Program are:
- Microbes-to-Biomes (M2B), a Berkeley lab-wide initiative designed to reveal, decode, and harness microbes that are relevant to bioenergy supply and environment protection. Our program focuses on studying biological systems modulated by secondary metabolites. Leveraging our integrated pipeline, we will discover, identify, and characterize these secondary metabolites. We are also developing tools and methodologies to directly engineer microbes isolated from environments and to culture these microbes in various conditions. In the long-term, our goals are to enable engineering soil microbiota to augment their ability for biofertilization, biocontrol, and phytostimulation.
- Genome to Enzymes and Pathways, which focuses on large-scale discovery, identification, and characterization of enzymes and pathways that are relevant to the DOE missions. In collaboration with other science programs, we actively develop bioinformatics tools to mine unique enzymes and pathways involved in lignocellulose decomposition, carbon-carbon bond formation (e.g., CO2 fixation) and breaking reactions, redox reactions, and biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites through the DOE JGI’s proprietary genome portals. These enzymes and pathways are subsequently synthesized and biochemically characterized. If needed, combinatorial (mutant) libraries are generated for further characterization.
- Fast-paced metabolic engineering, metabolic engineering traditionally utilizes a stepwise approach for strain development, requiring cycles of construct design, building, and characterization. In partnership with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), we are developing tools including ICE and DIVA to rapidly design combinatorial construct variations. These constructs are subsequently synthesized and tested for their ability to produce desired chemicals.
We encourage proposals that have potential to address some of the world’s most important scientific problems in energy and environment (research in DOE mission-relevant area). The next deadline for synthesis proposals is January 31, 2017. Both U.S. national and International applicants are eligible to apply for this program. The program has completed over 70 projects to date, including single gene synthesis (and characterization) and combinatorial pathway design and synthesis. We are also working on the synthesis of an entire refactored yeast chromosome.
Please see below links to learn how to submit a proposal to the DOE JGI DNA Synthesis Science Program.
- More about this program
- DNA Synthesis Science Program – Submission Guidelines
- Synthetic Biology Internal Review Process – Investigator Guidelines