JBEI researchers in the Technology Division investigate new technologies to advance the research and development of biofuels and bioproducts. Technologies being used to help JBEI reach its scientific goals include techniques for the characterization of genes and proteins in both natural and engineered plants and microorganisms, synthetic biology techniques for engineering new plants and fuel-generating organisms, and high resolution structural analysis of the enzymes involved in plant cell wall synthesis, biomass degradation, and the microbial synthesis of biofuels and bioproducts.
High-throughput methods, using microfluidics and array technologies, have been developed to enable rapid screening of lignocellulose breakdown, enzyme activities, and fuel production. In addition, JBEI Technology Division researchers provide resources for data management, analysis and visualization through a combination of commercial, open-source and custom software products. The goal is to understand plant and microbial systems, and proteins at a level whereby enzymes and strains can be engineered to promote the deconstruction of cellulosic biomass and subsequent synthesis of biofuels and bioproducts.