Latest Joint Genome Institute Stories

Eucalyptus logs
2014-06-14 03:00:06

U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute From antiseptic oils to the construction of didgeridoos, the traditional Australian Aboriginal wind instrument, the eucalyptus tree serves myriad purposes, accounting for its status as one of the world’s most widely planted hardwood trees. Its prodigious growth habit has caught the eyes of researchers seeking to harness and improve upon Eucalyptus’ potential for enhancing sustainable biofuels and biomaterials production, and provide a...

Lessons From Comparing Citrus Genomes
2014-06-09 03:42:10

DOE/Joint Genome Institute Citrus is the world's most widely cultivated fruit crop. In the US alone, the citrus crop was valued at over $3.1 billion in 2013. Originally domesticated in Southeast Asia thousands of years ago before spreading throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas via trade, citrus is now under attack from citrus greening, an insidious emerging infectious disease that is destroying entire orchards. To help defend citrus against this disease and other threats, researchers...

2014-05-23 11:13:49

DOE/Joint Genome Institute In the Lewis Carroll classic, Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty states, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." In turn, Alice (of Wonderland fame) says, "The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things." All organisms on Earth use a genetic code, which is the language in which the building plans for proteins are specified in their DNA. It has long been assumed that there is only one...

Tolerance Lessons From A Dead Sea Fungus
2014-05-12 03:53:13

DOE/Joint Genome Institute Despite its name, the Dead Sea does support life, and not just in the sense of helping visitors float in its waters. Algae, bacteria, and fungi make up the limited number of species that can tolerate the extremely salty environment at the lowest point on Earth. Some organisms thrive in salty environments by lying dormant when salt concentrations are very high. Other organisms need salt to grow. To learn which survival strategy the filamentous fungus Eurotium...

How Did Scavenging Fungi Became A Plant's Best Friend?
2013-11-26 09:00:27

DOE/Joint Genome Institute Glomeromycota is an ancient lineage of fungi that has a symbiotic relationship with roots that goes back nearly 420 million years to the earliest plants. More than two thirds of the world's plants depend on this soil-dwelling symbiotic fungus to survive, including critical agricultural crops such as wheat, cassava, and rice. The analysis of the Rhizophagus irregularis genome has revealed that this asexual fungus doesn't shuffle its genes the way researchers...

Inner Workings Of A Bacterial Black Box Captured On Time-lapse Video
2013-11-25 15:01:28

[ Watch The Video: Capturing the Carboxysome in Motion ] DOE/Joint Genome Institute Cyanobacteria, found in just about every ecosystem on Earth, are one of the few bacteria that can create their own energy through photosynthesis and "fix" carbon – from carbon dioxide molecules – and convert it into fuel inside of miniscule compartments called carboxysomes. Using a pioneering visualization method, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and the Department of Energy...

Promiscuous Extremophiles Better Oil Spill Cleanup
2013-10-01 09:51:10

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers working in Antarctica have created a detailed ecological picture of so-called extremophile bacteria living in extremely salty water that can hit temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The bacteria found in Vestfold Hills, Deep Lake – known as haloarchaea – are giving scientists new information on how life can survive in such dire conditions. They could also potentially provide new tools for bioengineering techniques,...

Dark Matter In The Biological Realm
2013-07-17 04:31:08

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A hot topic in astronomy is the search for dark matter - mass that seems to dominate the Universe, yet eludes our detection. Similarly, the field of biology encounters its own "dark matter" problem. Microbial dark matter, as it's called, draws its parallels from its cosmological cousin in that it is all around us, dominating this Earthly domain. Yet, it is incredibly difficult to characterize. "Microbes are the most abundant...

2013-06-25 10:49:25

A new chapter in the exploration of microbial life A research team led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has discovered that marine microbes are adapted to very narrow and specialized niches in their environment. This may explain why so few of these microbes—usually less than 1%—can be grown for study in the laboratory. By utilizing new genetic tools, the researchers’ new ability to read and interpret genetic information from the remaining 99% will be pivotal in detecting and...

Ehux Algae Adapts With Variable Genome
2013-06-13 09:15:51

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of Emiliania huxleyi, a species of single-celled photosynthetic marine algae that they say is responsible for removing carbon dioxide from the air, supplying the oxygen we breath, and even forming the basis of marine food chains. The results of their work has just been published in the journal Nature and helps explain the tremendous adaptive potential and global...

Word of the Day
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.