Currently, the knowledge and tools needed to successfully and safely introduce beneficial microbial alterations (natural or engineered) into systems is insufficient, as is the understanding required to prevent undesired modifications and assess the risks of proposed ecosystem biodesign efforts. Addressing this research challenge is the long-term objective of the Secure Ecosystem Engineering and Design (SEED) Science Focus Area.
Area of Research
The Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) vision is to accelerate domestication of bioenergy-relevant plants and microbes to enable high-impact, value-added, co-product development at multiple points in the bioenergy supply chain.
The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC), is a Department of Energy initiative led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), in partnership with Oak Ridge (ORNL), Los Alamos (LANL), and Pacific Northwest (PNNL) national laboratories. The NMDC leverages DOE’s existing data-science resources and high-performance computing systems to develop a framework that facilitates more efficient use of microbiome data for applications in energy, environment, health, and agriculture.
Complex systems at every scale of life, from cells to organisms to the global ecosystem, impact the movement of energy and materials. Understanding the intricate ways that interactions between genes and traits influence outcomes on the ecosystem scale can inform a range of solutions for issues such as removing carbon from the atmosphere through biological means, managing nutrient cycles, reducing mercury pollution, recovering from extreme weather events, and designing secure biosystems.
The Plant-Microbe Interfaces Scientific Focus Area advances understanding of the connections between genome sequence and the dynamic interface between plants, microbes, and their environment.