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Genomic Science Program

Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

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Genomic Science Program

Science Focus Area (Completed Project): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Design Principles Controlling Hydrogen Metabolism in Phototrophic Organisms

The primary scientific goal of this SFA is to obtain a systems-level understanding of the ferre­doxin interactome to enhance H2 and other biofuels production in the green alga Chlamy­domonas reinhardtii. The overall objectives of the program are to utilize genomics research tools to understand C. reinhardtii metabolism under anaerobic and nutrient-deprived conditions that trigger either H2 production or lipid accumulation and, eventually, apply this knowledge to other phototrophs. This enhanced scientific understanding will accelerate the development of future biofuels-producing organisms. The specific objectives of this research to date have been: (i) develop, validate, and apply novel high-throughput assays to screen large cell populations of H2-producing organ­isms, which allows for identification of high H2-producers at solar intensities; and (ii) deconvolute the network of metabolic pathways centered around six ferredoxin homologs found in Chlamydomonas. This work has been aimed at understanding reductant flux associated with photobiological hydrogen production and at identifying targets for future pathway engineering strategies that will eliminate or reduce metabolic flux into non-productive pathways. Future research will aim at enhancing yields in other metabolic, fuel-producing pathways that depend on the activity of ferredoxins, such as fatty acid synthesis, as well as starch accumulation and fermentation.

Scientific Focus Area Manager for NREL: Richard Greene1

SFA Technical Manager: Maria L. Ghirardi1

Participating Scientists: Alexandra Dubini1, Matthew Wecker2  

Participating Institutions: 1National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado; 2Genebiologics LLC, Boulder, Colorado

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    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]
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  • $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]
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