OAK RIDGE, Tenn. July 22, 2019—A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered the specific gene that controls an important symbiotic relationship between plants and soil fungi, and successfully facilitated the symbiosis in a plant that typically resists it.
The discovery could lead to the development of bioenergy and food crops that can withstand harsh growing conditions, resist pathogens and pests, require less chemical fertilizer and produce larger and more plentiful plants per acre.
ORNL researcher David Kainer is working with scientists from Australia, Germany, and Michigan to isolate Eucalyptus genes for biofuel production. They are investigating the genetic basis of variation in oil yield (terpenes) in blue mallee, a eucalyptus native to Australia.
While studying the genes in poplar trees that control callus formation, scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered genetic networks at the root of tumor formation in several human cancers.
The list recognizes researchers for exceptional performance, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly cited papers ranking in the top one percent by citations for field and year in Web of Science during the 11-year period 2006-2016.
The TNT Closing system from CBI is a flexible DNA assembly from universal libraries to generate multi-gene constructs was awarded to Gerald Tuskan and Xiaohan Yang have filed a patent application that provides a predefined three-nucleotide (TNT) signature and a buffer system for a quick on-pot reaction. The Gene assembly speed streamlines steps for a system that is up to 80% faster than other assembly systems.
The ORNL team of Daniel Jacobson, Wayne Joubert, Deborah Weighill, and David Kanier developed a new “CoMet” algorithm that allows supercomputers to process vast amounts of genetic data and identify genes that may be more susceptible to pain and opioid addiction as well as promising treatments. By running the algorithm supercomputers are able to successfully process genetic data at a magnitude that is four to five times greater than the latest state-of-the-art approaches. CoMetis currently being used in projects ranging from bioenergy to clinical genomics
Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species’ inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.
Scientists are using different layers of information combined with new computational approaches to integrate vast amounts of data in a modeling framework. Researchers can now identify genes controlling important traits to target biofuel and bioproduct production.
For decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function—produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets.
But for Wellington Muchero, Meng Xie and their colleagues, this enzyme does more than advertised. They had run a series of experiments on poplar plants that consistently revealed mutations in a structure of the life-sustaining enzyme that was not previously known to exist.