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Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

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Genomic Science Program

DOE BER Request for Information – Responses due on or before October 31, 2021. The BER Advisory Committee (BERAC) has been charged with assessing the international standing of BER-supported research. Your input is invited and encouraged. Please respond through email to the specific questions in this Request for Information according to the instructions provided at this link: Assessing the National and International Standing of BER Basic Research.

National Laboratory Project: Sandia National Laboratories

InCoGenTEC: Intrinsic Control for Genome and Transcriptome Editing in Communities

  • Principal Investigator: Joe Schoeniger1
  • Co-Investigators: Kelly William1, Catharine Mageeney1, Jesse Cahill1, Peter Otoupa1, Michael Jewett2, Farren Isaacs3, Jennifer Doudna4  
  • Participating Institutions: 1Sandia National Laboratories, 2Northwestern University, 3Yale University, 4University of California–Berkeley

InCoGenTEC diagram
InCoGenTEC researchers are developing technologies to enable the study of changes in microbial community composition and genetics and the engineering of strong, multilayered biocontainment. Led by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the project’s technical themes include molecular tools for sensing and regulatory control, flexible genetic cassette design, bacteriophage vectors, and strategies for mobilizing and controlling genetic content. [Courtesy Northwestern University and SNL]

The Intrinsic Control for Genome and Transcriptome Editing in Communities (InCoGenTEC) project focuses on developing technologies to sense bacteria’s biochemical and genetic states and reversibly and controllably transform them. Led by Sandia National Laboratories, InCoGenTEC will use these technologies to study the composition and function of microbial cultures and communities. The research aims to prevent the escape of modified microbes by controlling their behavior in the environment, and to analyze and control the potential transfer of genetic material from modified to natural organisms. The project combines numerous mechanisms for molecular-context sensing and the regulation of gene expression and DNA recombination to enable strain-specific, reversible transformation of bacterial cells. The InCoGenTEC team is engineering new CRISPR-based molecular tools to generate strains that enable cells to sense foreign small molecules and nucleic acids. The project also is pursuing large-scale identification of bacterial viruses (phages) to design and produce phage-based vectors using bacterial cells or cell-free systems and to discover new phage-derived molecular tools. The team is designing their engineering tools, biosensors, vectors, and biocontainment strategies to enable the combination and modular use of these technologies in a broad range of bacterial species with multiple layers of biocontainment security. The team’s sensors can be engineered to detect and report the presence of heterologous genetic material and its products and thus can also be used to study the promiscuity of horizontal gene transfer and the effectiveness of biocontainment features. Project outcomes will advance research in biomanufacturing, microbial consortia involved in biomass deconstruction, and soil and water microbiomes.

  • DOE BER Early Career Research Funding Opportunity Preapplications due Oct. 21. More »
  • DOE BER Request for Information – Responses due by 10- 31-21. More »
  • DOE BER Awards $45.5 Million [6/21] More »
  • Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program 2021 Solicitation 1 [2/21] More »
  • BER Researcher Susannah Tringe is 2020 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Winner More » [01/21]
  • More News and Announcements »

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