Metabolomics and Bioconversion

Metabolomics and Bioconversion

The Metabolomics and Bioconversion group performs multidisciplinary R&D for the Department of Energy's (DOE) relevant applications including the characterization of plant biomass and microbial cultures that are potentially suitable for biofuel production.

Metabolomics and Bioconversion


Substrate Binding Induces Conformational Changes in a Class A β-lactamase That Prime It for Catalysis

The emergence and dissemination of bacterial resistance to β-lactam antibiotics via β-lactamase enzymes is a serious problem in clinical settings, often leaving few treatment options for infections...

The Kalanchoë genome provides insights into convergent evolution and building blocks of crassulacean acid metabolism

Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a water-use efficient adaptation of photosynthesis that has evolved independently many times in diverse lineages of flowering plants. We hypothesize that...

Adapting microbial communities to low anode potentials improves performance of MECs at negative potentials

A unique aspect of microbial electrolysis cells is the use of an applied voltage for H2 production. Applied voltage impacts the conversion efficiency at the anode as well as the efficiency of...

Capabilities & Research Areas

The group consists of researchers and support personnel that apply expertise in metabolomics, plant physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, spectroscopy, and physics. These disciplines are integrated to determine the phenotypes of native and genetically-modified (transgenic and cisgenic) perennial dicots and monocots that are suitable biomass crops, including Populus, Eucalyptus, Agave, and Switchgrass (Panicum). The aforementioned metabolomic analyses are additionally coupled with genome-wide association studies to identify gene function, and are applied in plant-microbe interactions to determine the basis of symbiotic and pathogenic relationships, and the nature of signaling between organisms.

The group's role in bioprocessing research includes investigation of the use of microorganisms, microbial consortia, and microbial enzymes in bioenergy research to determine how efficiently cellulolytic, fermentative, and exoelectrogenic microbes degrade and process plant biomass to biofuels. Group members combine molecular dynamics simulation and neutron scattering experiments to understand changes in lignocellulosic biomass during pretreatment.