The Genomic Science program seeks to achieve a predictive, systems-level understanding of plants, microbes, and biological communities, via integration of fundamental science and technology development, to enable biological solutions to DOE mission challenges in energy, environment, and climate.
As a leader in systems biology research, the program builds on a foundation of sequenced genomes to identify common fundamental principles that drive living systems. These principles guide the translation of genomic code into functional molecules underlying biological system behavior. Understanding these principles could determine, for example, the biological mechanisms that control changes in the production of cellulose-degrading enzymes in a bioreactor or the amount of carbon stored in a plant’s roots under different environmental conditions. By leveraging the increasing availability of sequence data, Genomic Science researchers are using and developing methods to translate genome sequence into predictive understanding of microbial and plant systems. Knowledge gained by studying organisms for one DOE mission inevitably will lead to breakthroughs in the fundamental research underlying others. For example, technologies used to image and characterize microbes interacting with contaminants in subsurface environments also could provide insights into plant-microbe interactions that increase plant carbon fixation, biomass yield, or carbon accumulation in soils.
In addition to systems biology research, Genomic Science activities include (1) supporting the DOE Bioenergy Research Centers and other projects to provide transformational breakthroughs in cellulosic or next-generation biofuels; (2) developing real-time, high-resolution technologies (assisted by integration with computational modeling) for analyzing dynamic biological processes; and (3) creating the DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase, a open cyberinfrastructure for sharing and integrating diverse biological data types, accessing and developing software for data analysis, and providing resources for modeling and simulation.
Learn more about basic research to support each of our key focus areas.
Genomic Science-Related BER Research Highlights