University of Nebraska Receives Grant...
Community Science Project Funding Includes University of Nebraska Biofuel Research

DOE's Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) announced the funding of 27 projects selected for the 2016 Community Science Program, including a handful related to biofuels. DOE JGI is funding a project that Daniel Schachtman from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln is working on which focuses on a systems analysis of sorghum bicolor, a potential bioenergy feedstock sequenced by the program. The funding amount was not provided, but it is also supported by a Sustainable Bioenergy grant from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the University of North Carolina.

Another project being funded comes from Tom Juenger at the University of Texas at Austin, although again, the funding amount was not provided. By sequencing several hundred switchgrass genotypes, the team hopes to identify genetic variations that contribute to high yields and high quality plant biomass that can be used for biofuel production. Juenger's project dovetails with his Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development grant through Biological and Environmental Research (BER). For this funding opportunity, BER solicited applications for systems-biology driven basic research focused on understanding the roles of microbes and microbial communities in contributing to the health of bioenergy crop feedstocks and their associated ecosystems.

Among other biofuel-related projects being funded is one by Elizabeth Cooper at Clemson University, relating to comparative transcriptomics of sweet and grain sorghum to understand the mechanism and timing of sugar accumulation in an important bioenergy crop, while another, by Richard Hamelin at the University of British Columbia is looking at the pathobiome of bioenergy trees.

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