Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment
The Genomic Science program pursues fundamental research to understand, predict, manipulate, and design plant and microbial systems for innovations in renewable energy, insights into environmental processes, and biotechnological breakthroughs supporting the U.S. bioeconomy.
Providing the foundational genomics-based knowledge needed to produce and deconstruct renewable plant biomass and convert it to sustainable fuels, chemicals, and other bioproducts.
Accelerating the ability to securely design, build, and control plants and microbes for beneficial purposes such as clean energy, biomaterials, and carbon sequestration.
Developing a process-level understanding of how plant and soil microbial communities impact the cycling and fate of carbon, nutrients, and contaminants in the environment.
Bioenergy Research Centers
Four Bioenergy Research Centers—each led by a DOE national laboratory or top university—take distinctive approaches to the common goal of improving and scaling up advanced biofuel and bioproduct production processes.
The multidisciplinary teams are tackling fundamental science challenges in:
- Feedstock development
- Deconstruction and separation
Their research is identifying the genomic underpinnings of complex plant traits in promising bioenergy crops and streamlining deconstruction processes to funnel plant components into defined process streams. The centers are designing new pathways in microbes to convert plant biomass to a range of fuels, chemicals, and bioproducts. They also are developing the agronomic understanding needed to sustainably manage and produce bioenergy crops on marginal lands.
Select BRC Highlights
Exploring the responsiveness of bioenergy crop yields to rotation and fertilization
Modifying a single gene to improve ethanol production from poplar trees
Collecting useful chemicals individually to increase the value of biomass processing
Optimizing production of terpene precursors for next-generation biofuels