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Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

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Genomic Science Program

May 2003 News Briefs

May 2003

DOE Joint Genome Institute and Oregon State University Sequence Key Soil Microorganism in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles
This microbe, Nitrosomonas europaea (N. europaea), derives all of the energy it needs to grow from the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. In so doing, N. europaea converts CO2 to cell biomass. This type of carbon sequestration may lead to biologically-based technologies to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As an editorial in the Journal of Bacteriology, May 2003, points out, the use of ammonia, CO2 and mineral salts to make biomass (more N. europaea cells) essentially means that this microbe makes itself from "almost nothing." Additionally, N. europaea is highly dependent on environmental iron and its genome seems to contain genes that confer upon it the capacity to "steal" iron from surrounding microbes. Consistent with many previously sequenced microbes, about 30 percent of the genetic information in its genome mediates unknown functions in the microbe's biology.

Program Contact: Dan Drell, SC-72, (301) 903-4742

Two Office of Science/Biological and Environmental Research (SC/BER) Supported Scientists Win Major Microbiology Awards
At the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in Washington, DC, in May, two SC/BER supported microbiologists will receive prestigious ASM awards. Dr. Kenneth Nealson of the University of Southern California will receive the Proctor and Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology for his contributions to our knowledge of the microbiology of marine, freshwater, terrestrial, and other environments where microbes are found. One key finding was quorum sensing, the chemical basis for how microbes sense local cell density. He is well known for developing technologies to detect microbial life in unconventional environments, attracting National Aeronautics and Space Administration interest as potentially valuable for life detection on Mars probes. Nealson is a grantee in the DOE Genomes to Life Program. Also being honored is Dr. Gary Olsen of the University of Illinois, who will receive the United States Federation for Culture Collections and J. Roger Porter Award. Olsen has made many fundamental contributions to microbial taxonomy, analyses of microbial diversity, and the use of small RNA sequences to build the presently understood "tree of life" in the microbial world. Olsen is a grantee in the DOE Microbial Genome Program.

Program Contact: Dan Drell, SC-72, (301) 903-4742

  • New Funding Announcement: DE-FOA-0002214 - Systems Biology Research To Advance Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development
    Additional Information » [01/20]
  • New Funding Announcement: DE-FOA-0002215 - ESPCoR FOA 2215 Building EPSCOR-State/National Laboratory Partnerships
    Additional Information » [12/19]
  • New Funding Announcement: DE-FOA-0002217 – Computational Tool Development for Integrative Systems Biology Data Analysis Additional Information » [11/19]
  • New Funding Announcement: DE-FOA-0002173 – Early Career Research Program Additional Information » [11/19]
  • Now Available: Breaking the Bottleneck of Genomes: Understanding Gene Function Across Taxa report [9/19]
  • 2019 PI Meeting: Genomic Sciences Program Annual Principal Investigator Meeting February 24 - 27, 2019. Abstracts and More »
  • DOE Announces $64 Million for Plant and Microbe Research: U.S. Department of Energy announced $64 million in funding for 25 university-led genomics research projects on plants and microbes for bioenergy and bioproducts. [8/19]
    Read More »
  • $13.5 Million for New Bioimaging Approaches for Bioenergy: The U.S. Department of Energy announced $13.5 million in funding for six projects to develop new approaches to microscopic imaging of plants and microbes. [8/19]
    Read More »
  • More News and Announcements »

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