Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

In New Roadmap, DOE Says Its Genomics: GTL Program Will Help Develop Cellulose-Based Ethanol Products

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - The US Department of Energy's Genomics: GTL program will play a role in a new DOE program to develop cellulose-based ethanol, the DOE said today.
 
In a 200-page roadmap, published today, the DOE identified areas of research to make cellulose-based ethanol production cost-effective, including maximizing biomass feedstock productivity, breaking down cellulosic materials into sugars, and optimizing the fermentation process to convert sugars to ethanol.
 
The roadmap suggests that using biotechnological advances developed during the Human Genome Project and continued in the Genomics: GTL program in DOE's Office of Science can play a role. "The plan leverages ... advances made in genomics research and computation to build the new scientific and practical foundation needed to support an economic and sustainable biofuel industry," the government said in a fact sheet accompanying the report.
 
According to the fact sheet, "the power of modern genome sequencing and the capabilities at the DOE's Joint Genome Institute can be applied to these challenges. Using genome sequence (e.g., from switchgrass, poplar trees, etc.) to explore the genetic information encoded within will allow researchers to improve their knowledge about plant feedstocks and microbes used for conversion.
 
"This work will involve identifying: genes involved in the synthesis of cell-wall molecules and higher structures; reactions performed by the multitude of enzymes involved; design principles of cell walls; and factors controlling the amounts, composition, and structure of polymers and polymer matrices," the government said in the fact sheet.
 
"Discovery of new biomass-degrading biochemistries in organisms across many different kingdoms of life-including plants, fungi, and bacteria-will also expand our capabilities relevant to biomass conversion to biofuels," it concluded.
 
The roadmap addresses Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman's goal of displacing 30 percent of 2004 transportation fuel consumption with biofuels by 2030, a goal set in response to President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative.
 
It was developed during a December 2005 workshop hosted jointly by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the Office of Science and the Office of the Biomass Program in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
 
The report, "Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda," may be viewed at Genomics: GTL's web site.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.