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JGI Names 2012 Community Sequencing Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute has chosen 41 research projects out of 152 applicants to use its sequencing services under its 2012 Community Sequencing Program, JGI said Thursday.

Researchers for this year's CSP program, which provides the scientific community with access to JGI's high-throughput sequencing technologies, proposed projects to study plant-microbe interactions, how microbes are involved in carbon capture and greenhouse gas emission, and metagenomics.

“These selections truly take advantage of the DOE JGI’s massive-scale sequencing and data analysis capabilities,” DOE JGI Director Eddy Rubin said in a statement.  “The projects span the globe and the unexplored branches of the tree of life, and promise to yield a better understanding of the interplay between climate, ecosystem, and organism.  Still other projects are targeting improvements in biofuel feedstock production, focusing on the potential of microorganisms to improve feedstock growth and prevent devastating diseases that hinder yields.”

The winning projects involve a wide range of microbial sequence-based research efforts focused on DOE JGI's core mission areas.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Principal Investigator Jeff Dangl and his team plan to study the rhizosphere, the region where microbes in the soil colonize and interact with plant roots, and how it is involved in plant growth and productivity. Dangl's lab will focus on the microbiomes of maize, Arabadopsis, and a mustard relative, among others.

Another project, headed by Professor Jill Banfield at the University of California, Berkeley, plans to study genomes from microbial communities located at a DOE bioremediation research site in Colorado. The team seeks to identify novel rare microbes that might be useful for environmental cleanup of metals and radionuclides.

A group led by University of Vienna Investigator Michael Pester will study the greenhouse gas emissions of microbial communities that reside in peatlands, which are known carbon sinks that contain methane-producing microorganisms.

Another project, proposed by US Department of Agriculture Research Molecular Biologist Jo Anne Crouch, will study species of a grass-infecting fungus in order to find ways to protect potential bioenergy feedstocks from diseases caused by fungal pathogens.
A complete list of the 41 CSP 2012 sequencing projects is available on JGI's website.