The road to the biofuels starts with unique ecosystems where the Microbial Communities research team targets new enzymes and microbes 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
In this video Steve Singer, Director of Microbial Communities explains how JBEI researchers are investigating the role of microbial communities in the breakdown of bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, and how this leads to the production of better biofuels.
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.
- “Comparative proteomics demonstrates the unexpected importance of actinobacterial glycoside hydrolase family 12 protein for crystalline cellulose hydrolysis” mBio (2016)
- “Ferricyanide-based analysis of aqueous lignin suspension revealed sequestration of water-soluble lignin moieties” RSC Advances (2016)
- “MaxBin 2.0: an automated binning algorithm to recover genomes from multiple metagenomic datasets” Bioinformatics (2015)
- “Refining the phylum Chlorobi by resolving the phylogeny and metabolic potential of the representative of a deeply branching, uncultivated lineage” ISME Journal (2015)
- “Substrate-Specific Development of Thermophilic Bacterial Consortia by Using Chemically Pretreated Switchgrass”, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2014)
- “MaxBin: an automated binning method to recover individual genomes from metagenomes using an expectation-maximization algorithm”, Microbiome (2014)
- “An auto-inducible mechanism for ionic liquid resistance in microbial biofuel production”, Nature Communications (2014)
- “Discovery and characterization of ionic liquid-tolerant thermophilic cellulases from a switchgrass-adapted microbial community” Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014)
- “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)
Featured Intellectual Property
- Engineered Microorganisms with Resistance to Ionic Liquids
- Engineered Bacterium with Resistance to Ionic Liquid
- Halophilic and Thermostable Cellulases Tolerant to Ionic Liquids
- Ionic Liquid Tolerant Cellulase Enzymes
Microbial Community Links