Today at Berkeley Lab

Joint Genome Institute Uncovers Earth’s Viral Diversity

JGI researchers, aided by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), used the largest collection of assembled metagenomic datasets to uncover over 125,000 partial and complete viral genomes, with infecting microbes in the majority. The findings, which were published in Nature, increase the number of known viral genes by a factor of 16. More>

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‘From Mice to Microbes’ Talk on Aug. 31

Axel Visel, biologist, senior staff scientist, and acting director of the DOE Joint Genome Institute, will present a seminar titled “From Mice to Microbes: Understanding How Genomes Work” on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium. More>

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JGI Helps Expand Yeast Diversity for Biotech Applications

So far industry has only harnessed a fraction of the diversity available among yeast species. To boost the use of a wider range of yeasts and explore the use of genes and pathways encoded in their genomes, a team led by Joint Genome Institute researchers conducted a comparative genomic analysis of 29 yeasts, including 16 whose genomes were newly sequenced and annotated. More>

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JGI Helps Identify Microbial Culprits Initiating Oceanic Nitrogen Loss

Microbes play key roles in maintaining the planet’s biogeochemical cycles, and while SAR11 bacteria’s role in the marine carbon cycle is known, its role in regulating nitrogen bioavailability was not. Scientists partnered with JGI, using single-cell sorting and synthetic biology capabilities, identified and characterize SAR11’s role in oxygen-minimum zones. More>

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Volunteer Judges Needed for Aug. 13 Student Poster Competition

Thirty volunteer judges are needed for Biotech Partners’ poster competition, held Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Berkeley High School. Expertise in science is not required. Those interested in participating should contact Linda Gayden, executive director of Biotech Partners, by Monday, August 1. More>

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JGI Collaborative Science Program Yields Fungal Study

A comparative analysis of four fungal secretomes to learn more about the pathways they deploy to break down carbon compounds was made possible by a program called FICUS between two national user facilities: the JGI at Berkeley Lab, and the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Lab. More>

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Developing Novel Techniques to Visualize Uncultured Microbial Cell Activity

Caltech and JGI researchers utilized a recently refined technique to identify both individual active cells, and single clusters of active bacteria and archaea within microbial communities. Insights from the true scope of the planet’s microbial diversity could have energy and environment applications. More>

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Insights into How Soil Microbes Regulate Carbon and Sulfur Cycling

Utilizing microcosms of peat soil, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute mimicked naturally fluctuating conditions to study sulfate-reducing microbes and how they regulate methane production in peat microbial communities. Understanding these rare microbes offers insights into both the characterization of microbial ecological functioning and to mitigate global climate change. More>

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JGI Team Leads Project on Evolution of Fungal Sensory Perception

Fungi can sense environmental signals and react accordingly, changing their development, direction of growth, and metabolism. New results published in Current Biology by a JGI-led team based on characterizing and then conducting a comparative analysis of two genome sequences shed light on the evolution of sensory perception in fungi. More>

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JGI Researchers Call for Formation of a National Microbiome Data Center

JGI researchers have called for the formation of a National Microbiome Data Center to efficiently manage the datasets accumulated globally. The timely publication complements the White House’s launch of a National Microbiome Initiative focused on comparing microbial communities across ecosystems to identify the “organizing principles” that shape all microbiomes. More>

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