The goal of the LLNL Biofuels SFA is to examine the systems biology properties of complex microbial communities with an emphasis on understanding organismal interactions, making quantitative models of energy flows, and determining environmental regulation of community behaviors. Microbial systems relevant to bioenergy production are of particular interest because multiple energy-production and consumption pathways often exist and dominant pathways can vary with community phylogenetic composition (both richness and abundance) as well as local geochemistry. The SFA focuses on three energy-producing microbial ecosystems in which energy production and consumption are spatially localized and intimately connected with acquisition, conversion, and metabolism of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. These systems include cyanobacterial microbial mats, the hindgut microbial community of wood-feeding passalid beetles, and lipid-producing microalgae-bacteria consortia. The overarching goal of the SFA is to enable understanding of the complex interactions at the molecular, genomic, and organism levels that contribute to natural community function and could potentially be applied to constructed consortia for biofuels production.
Scientific Focus Area Manager for LLNL: Henry Shaw1
SFA Principal Investigator: Jennifer Pett-Ridge1
Participating Scientists: Mike Thelen1, Peter Weber1, Xavier Mayali1, Yonquin Jiao1, Ali Navid1, Patrik D'Haeseleer1, Carol Zhou1, Eoin Brodie2, Ulas Karaoz2, Brad Bebout6, Lee Bebout6, Tori Hoehler6, Alfred Spormann5, Meredith Blackwell8, Todd Lane4, Mary Lipton3, Oana Marcu (SETI), Paul Zimba (TAMUCC), Sabeeha Merchant7
Participating Institutions: 1 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 3Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 4Sandia National Laboratory, 5Stanford University, 6NASA Ames Research Center, 7University of California Los Angeles, 8Louisiana State University