The road to the biofuels starts with unique ecosystems where the Microbial Communities research team prospects for new enzymes that can efficiently deconstruct biomass. Group members take samples from such places as rain forest floors, salt marshes and composts. From these samples specific microbes and enzymes are identified, isolated and manipulated. A suite of “omics” tools is then used to analyze these microbes and develop a comprehensive knowledge base of genomic and proteomic characteristics of microbial communities.
- Adaptation of thermophilic bacterial consortia to grow on biomass substrates
- Discovery of enzymes for lignocellulose deconstruction in halophilic enviroments
- Mechanisms of tolerance to ionic liquids in bacteria and fungi
- Discovery of mechanisms for bacterial lignin deconstruction and new aromatic metabolic pathways
JBEI researchers developed MaxBin to automatically recover individual genomes from metagenomes using an expectation-maximization algorithm.
Resistance is Not Futile: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Resistance to Ionic Liquids in Biofuel Microbes
Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers have identified the genetic origins of a microbial resistance to ionic liquids and successfully introduced this resistance into a strain of E. coli bacteria for the production of advanced biofuels.
New Technique Identifies Populations Within a Microbial Community Responsible for Biomass Deconstruction
JBEI researchers have identified a tropical rainforest microbe that can endure relatively high concentrations of an ionic liquid used to dissolve cellulosic biomass for the production of advanced biofuels.
- “Bacillus coagulans tolerance to 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium-based ionic liquids in aqueous and solid-state thermophilic culture.”, Biotechnology Progress (2014).
- “Characterization of bacterial communities in solarized soil amended with lignocellulosic organic matter.” Applied Soil Ecology (2014)
- “Discovery of microorganisms and enzymes involved in high-solids decomposition of rice straw using metagenomic analysis.” PloS ONE (2013)
- “Community Dynamics of Cellulose-Adapted Thermophilic Bacterial Consortia.” Environmental Microbiology (2013)
- “A thermophilic ionic liquid-tolerant cellulase cocktail for the production of cellulosic biofuels.“ PLoS ONE (May 2012)
- “Global transcriptome response to ionic liquid by a tropical rain forest soil bacterium, Enterobacter lignolyticus SCF1.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2012)
- “Anaerobic decomposition of switchgrass by tropical soil-derived feedstock adapted consortia.” mBio (2012)
- “Bioenergy feedstock-specific enrichment of microbial populations during high-solids thermophilic deconstruction.” Biotechnology and Bioengineering (2011)
- “Glycoside Hydrolase Activities of Thermophilic Bacterial Consortia Adapted to Switchgrass.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, (2011)
- “Targeted discovery of glycoside hydrolases from a switchgrass-adapted compost community.”, PLOS One (2010)