Today at Berkeley Lab

2017 Projects Announced for JGI, EMSL Joint FICUS Program

Ten projects have been selected for the “Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science” (FICUS) initiative led by the JGI and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL). The FICUS initiative represents a unique opportunity for scientists to harness the combined power of genomics and molecular characterization in a single proposed research project. More>

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JGI Analysis Helps Find Clues on How Fungi Help Trees Tolerate Drought

A team including JGI researchers has identified adaptations in the transcriptome of the most common ectomycorrhizal fungus that could help their hosts be more resistant to drought stress, a finding that could be useful in developing more plant feedstocks for bioenergy amidst the changing climate. More>

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JGI’s FICUS Program Helps with Study on Microbial Impacts from Fracking

Through FICUS, — JGI’s collaborative science program with PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab — Ohio State researchers reconstructed microbial genomes from fractured shale for the first time as part of efforts to understand the impact of hydraulic fracturing on microbial communities in the deep subsurface. More>

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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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