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Latest Joint Genome Institute Stories

Studying Virus-Host Interactions In The Oxygen-Starved Ocean
2014-09-17 03:02:18

JGI For multicellular life—plants and animals—to thrive in the oceans, there must be enough dissolved oxygen in the water. In certain coastal areas, extreme oxygen-starvation produces “dead zones” that decimate marine fisheries and destroy food web structure. As dissolved oxygen levels decline, energy is increasingly diverted away from multicellular life into microbial community metabolism resulting in impacts on the ecology and biogeochemistry of the ocean. Over the past 50...

Hybrid poplar trees
2014-08-26 02:45:23

David Gilbert, DOE/Joint Genome Institute One aspect of the climate change models researchers have been developing looks at how plant ranges might shift, and how factors such as temperature, water availability, and light levels might come into play. Forests creeping steadily north and becoming established in the thawing Arctic is just one of the predicted effects of rising global temperatures. A recent study published online August 24, 2014 in Nature Genetics offers a more in-depth,...

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...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.