The project’s sequencing effort will focus on microorganisms associated with the roots of a common grass species, blue grama, and will interface with ongoing environmental change experiments at the UNM’s Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research site in central New Mexico.
“This award will enable us to better understand the metabolic potential of microbial communities native to extreme environments,” said Don Natvig, professor of biology at UNM. “This understanding can in turn be applied to real-world problems, such as biofuels production inefficiencies and greenhouse gas management technologies.”
Biofuels research and environmental change studies are united by the urgent need to develop sustainable energy sources, and to understand and mitigate the environmental effects of spiraling greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of renewable energy, the study will drive the commercial development of new products useful in the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass, the starting material for production of biofuels.
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