Genomic Science Program
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Biological and Environmental Research Program

Carbon Cycling 2013 Awards Summary: Systems Biology-Enabled Research on the Roles of Microbial Communities in Carbon Cycling

Summary of Projects Awarded in 2013 under the Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000866

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The Genomic Science program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) supports fundamental research aimed at identifying the foundational principles that drive biological systems. These principles govern the translation of genetic codes into integrated networks of catalytic proteins, regulatory elements, and metabolite pools underlying the functional processes of organisms. It is the dynamic interaction of these subsystems that ultimately determines the overall systems biology of plants, microbes, and multispecies communities. To address DOE missions in developing sustainable bioenergy and understanding climate-relevant processes, research within the Genomic Science program uses “omics”-driven tools of modern systems biology to analyze how organisms that form biological communities interact with each other and their surrounding environments. Understanding the relationships between molecular-scale functional biology and ecosystem-scale environmental processes illuminates the basic mechanisms that drive biogeochemical cycling, carbon biosequestration, and green- house gas emissions in terrestrial ecosystems.