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Title: Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers White Paper

Abstract

In his Advanced Energy Initiative announced in January 2006, President George W. Bush committed the nation to new efforts to develop alternative sources of energy to replace imported oil and fossil fuels. Developing cost-effective and energy-efficient methods of producing renewable alternative fuels such as cellulosic ethanol from biomass and solar-derived biofuels will require transformational breakthroughs in science and technology. Incremental improvements in current bioenergy production methods will not suffice. The Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers will be dedicated to fundamental research on microbe and plant systems with the goal of developing knowledge that will advance biotechnology-based strategies for biofuels production. The aim is to spur substantial progress toward cost-effective production of biologically based renewable energy sources. This document describes the rationale for the establishment of the centers and their objectives in light of the U.S. Department of Energy's mission and goals. Developing energy-efficient and cost-effective methods of producing alternative fuels such as cellulosic ethanol from biomass will require transformational breakthroughs in science and technology. Incremental improvements in current bioenergy-production methods will not suffice. The focus on microbes (for cellular mechanisms) and plants (for source biomass) fundamentally exploits capabilities well known to exist in the microbial world. Thus 'proof of concept' ismore » not required, but considerable basic research into these capabilities remains an urgent priority. Several developments have converged in recent years to suggest that systems biology research into microbes and plants promises solutions that will overcome critical roadblocks on the path to cost-effective, large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol and other renewable energy from biomass. The ability to rapidly sequence the DNA of any organism is a critical part of these new capabilities, but it is only a first step. Other advances include the growing number of high-throughput techniques for protein production and characterization; a range of new instrumentation for observing proteins and other cell constituents; the rapid growth of commercially available reagents for protein production; a new generation of high-intensity light sources that provide precision imaging on the nanoscale and allow observation of molecular interactions in ultrafast time intervals; major advances in computational capability; and the continually increasing numbers of these instruments and technologies within the national laboratory infrastructure, at universities, and in private industry. All these developments expand our ability to elucidate mechanisms present in living cells, but much more remains to be done. The Centers are designed to accomplish GTL program objectives more rapidly, more effectively, and at reduced cost by concentrating appropriate technologies and scientific expertise, from genome sequence to an integrated systems understanding of the pathways and internal structures of microbes and plants most relevant to developing bioenergy compounds. The Centers will seek to understand the principles underlying the structural and functional design of selected microbial, plant, and molecular systems. This will be accomplished by building technological pathways linking the genome-determined components in an organism with bioenergy-relevant cellular systems that can be characterized sufficiently to generate realistic options for biofuel development. In addition, especially in addressing what are believed to be nearer-term approaches to renewable energy (e.g., producing cellulosic ethanol cost-effectively and energy-efficiently), the Center research team must understand in depth the current industrial-level roadblocks and bottlenecks (see section, GTL's Vision for Biological Energy Alternatives, below). For the Centers, and indeed the entire BER effort, to be successful, Center research must be integrated with individual investigator research, and coordination of activities, from DNA sequencing to high-throughput protein development and characterization.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]
  1. ORNL
  2. Office of Science, Department of Energy
  3. U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
931351
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2007/015
KP1102010; ERKP153; DOE/SC-0097; TRN: US200813%%411
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ACCURACY; BIOFUELS; BIOLOGY; BIOMASS; CELL CONSTITUENTS; DESIGN; DNA; DNA SEQUENCING; ETHANOL; FOSSIL FUELS; FUNCTIONALS; LIGHT SOURCES; PRODUCTION; PROTEINS; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

Citation Formats

Mansfield, Betty Kay, Alton, Anita Jean, Andrews, Shirley H, Bownas, Jennifer Lynn, Casey, Denise, Martin, Sheryl A, Mills, Marissa, Nylander, Kim, Wyrick, Judy M, Drell, Dr. Daniel, Weatherwax, Sharlene, and Carruthers, Julie. Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers White Paper. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/931351.
Mansfield, Betty Kay, Alton, Anita Jean, Andrews, Shirley H, Bownas, Jennifer Lynn, Casey, Denise, Martin, Sheryl A, Mills, Marissa, Nylander, Kim, Wyrick, Judy M, Drell, Dr. Daniel, Weatherwax, Sharlene, & Carruthers, Julie. Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers White Paper. United States. doi:10.2172/931351.
Mansfield, Betty Kay, Alton, Anita Jean, Andrews, Shirley H, Bownas, Jennifer Lynn, Casey, Denise, Martin, Sheryl A, Mills, Marissa, Nylander, Kim, Wyrick, Judy M, Drell, Dr. Daniel, Weatherwax, Sharlene, and Carruthers, Julie. Tue . "Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers White Paper". United States. doi:10.2172/931351. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/931351.
@article{osti_931351,
title = {Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers White Paper},
author = {Mansfield, Betty Kay and Alton, Anita Jean and Andrews, Shirley H and Bownas, Jennifer Lynn and Casey, Denise and Martin, Sheryl A and Mills, Marissa and Nylander, Kim and Wyrick, Judy M and Drell, Dr. Daniel and Weatherwax, Sharlene and Carruthers, Julie},
abstractNote = {In his Advanced Energy Initiative announced in January 2006, President George W. Bush committed the nation to new efforts to develop alternative sources of energy to replace imported oil and fossil fuels. Developing cost-effective and energy-efficient methods of producing renewable alternative fuels such as cellulosic ethanol from biomass and solar-derived biofuels will require transformational breakthroughs in science and technology. Incremental improvements in current bioenergy production methods will not suffice. The Genomics:GTL Bioenergy Research Centers will be dedicated to fundamental research on microbe and plant systems with the goal of developing knowledge that will advance biotechnology-based strategies for biofuels production. The aim is to spur substantial progress toward cost-effective production of biologically based renewable energy sources. This document describes the rationale for the establishment of the centers and their objectives in light of the U.S. Department of Energy's mission and goals. Developing energy-efficient and cost-effective methods of producing alternative fuels such as cellulosic ethanol from biomass will require transformational breakthroughs in science and technology. Incremental improvements in current bioenergy-production methods will not suffice. The focus on microbes (for cellular mechanisms) and plants (for source biomass) fundamentally exploits capabilities well known to exist in the microbial world. Thus 'proof of concept' is not required, but considerable basic research into these capabilities remains an urgent priority. Several developments have converged in recent years to suggest that systems biology research into microbes and plants promises solutions that will overcome critical roadblocks on the path to cost-effective, large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol and other renewable energy from biomass. The ability to rapidly sequence the DNA of any organism is a critical part of these new capabilities, but it is only a first step. Other advances include the growing number of high-throughput techniques for protein production and characterization; a range of new instrumentation for observing proteins and other cell constituents; the rapid growth of commercially available reagents for protein production; a new generation of high-intensity light sources that provide precision imaging on the nanoscale and allow observation of molecular interactions in ultrafast time intervals; major advances in computational capability; and the continually increasing numbers of these instruments and technologies within the national laboratory infrastructure, at universities, and in private industry. All these developments expand our ability to elucidate mechanisms present in living cells, but much more remains to be done. The Centers are designed to accomplish GTL program objectives more rapidly, more effectively, and at reduced cost by concentrating appropriate technologies and scientific expertise, from genome sequence to an integrated systems understanding of the pathways and internal structures of microbes and plants most relevant to developing bioenergy compounds. The Centers will seek to understand the principles underlying the structural and functional design of selected microbial, plant, and molecular systems. This will be accomplished by building technological pathways linking the genome-determined components in an organism with bioenergy-relevant cellular systems that can be characterized sufficiently to generate realistic options for biofuel development. In addition, especially in addressing what are believed to be nearer-term approaches to renewable energy (e.g., producing cellulosic ethanol cost-effectively and energy-efficiently), the Center research team must understand in depth the current industrial-level roadblocks and bottlenecks (see section, GTL's Vision for Biological Energy Alternatives, below). For the Centers, and indeed the entire BER effort, to be successful, Center research must be integrated with individual investigator research, and coordination of activities, from DNA sequencing to high-throughput protein development and characterization.},
doi = {10.2172/931351},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {8}
}

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