Today at Berkeley Lab

JGI Discovers Giant Viruses in Forest Soils

Giant virus genomes have been discovered for the first time in a forest soil ecosystem by researchers from the Joint Genome Institute and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst using a “mini-metagenomics” approach. As the name implies, giant viruses are characterized by disproportionately large genomes and virions that house the viruses’ genetic material. More>

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JGI Finds Symbiosis Is a Driver of Truffle Diversity

Truffles are generally considered a dining extravagance, but they also play an important role in soil ecosystem services. Truffles are the fruiting bodies of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal symbionts, and the Joint Genome Institute was part of an international team that sought insights into the ECM lifestyle of truffle-forming species. As reported in Nature Ecology & Evolution, the team conducted a comparative analysis of eight fungi. More>

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Staff Invited to Join JGI Halloween Runaround on Oct. 31

While the Hill version of the Runaround is now in the rearview mirror, Lab staff can look forward to another fun footrace as the Joint Genome Institute hosts its annual Halloween Runaround. The race begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the JGI facility in Walnut Creek. All participants are asked to come in costume for this 3K walk/run event. Email Christine Naca to register.

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Expanding Fungal Diversity, One Cell at a Time

More than a million species of fungi are estimated to live on this planet, but most of that diversity remains unknown because the fungi have avoided detection and have not been cultured for study in laboratories. A team led by researchers at the Joint Genome Institute has developed a pipeline to generate genomes from single cells of uncultivated fungi. More>

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Joint JGI-NERSC-KBase Call for Biological Data Science Proposals; Sept. 24 Deadline

The Joint Genome Institute, NERSC, and KBase have issued a joint call for proposals in biological data science as part of the Facilities Integrating Capabilities for User Science (FICUS) initiative. The call aims to help users perform large-scale computational analyses of genomics and related omics data to solve problems relevant to the DOE missions in bioenergy and the environment. Proposals are due Sept. 24. More>

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JGI Helps Expand Knowledge of Terpenes to Aid Biofuel Production

From the distinct smell of eucalyptus to the flavor of wine, terpenes are ubiquitous as well as economically important due to their use in industrial materials and pharmaceuticals. And thanks to a recent study that included the Joint Genome Institute, researchers have gained a better understanding of the terpene synthase gene family and its use as a precursor for biofuel development. More>

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JGI Helps ID Core Microbial Community for Maize Rhizosphere

An international team including Joint Genome Institute (JGI) researchers conducted a large-scale field study that partially replicates earlier trials to identify soil microbes that colonize plants and can be associated with particular traits. The work was conducted as part of JGI’s Rhizosphere Grand Challenge pilot projects. More>

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JGI Assists in Development of Sphagnum Genomic Resources

Sphagnum’s impact on carbon cycling and climate is said to be larger than any other single plant genus. Researchers estimate that Sphagnum holds about 25 percent of the world’s soil carbon. Using the Joint Genome Institute’s Community Science Program, researchers are developing resources to build up Sphagnum as a plant model system focused on carbon cycling studies, rather than for food or fuel applications. More>

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Innovative Technology Improves Our Understanding of Bacterial Cell Signaling

Cyclic di-GMP (guanine monophosphate) is found in nearly all types of bacteria and interacts with cell signaling networks that control many basic cellular functions. To better understand the dynamics of this molecule, researchers have developed the first chemiluminescent biosensors for measuring cyclic di-GMP in bacteria through work enabled by the Community Science Program at the Joint Genome Institute. More>

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Berkeley Lab User Facilities Prominent in SSURF Annual Meeting

Representatives from the Lab’s five national user facilities attended the Society for Science at User Research Facilities (SSURF) Annual Meeting in late June. JGI Director Nigel Mouncey presented, “How Facilities Can Partner With Industry to Strengthen the Scientific Infrastructure.” The Molecular Foundry’s Alison Hatt, who also serves on the SSURF Board of Directors, moderated a session. More>

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