DOE Science Showcase - Biosynthesis

Characterization of key triacylglycerol biosynthesis processes in rhodococci

From: Characterization of key triacylglycerol biosynthesis processes in rhodococci. Figure 3: Overview of pathways related to TAG biosynthesis and transcript levels during the transition to stationary phase under N-limitation.  
Relevant genes are listed in the lower left chart. Arrows are colored as follows: green, transcripts of genes more abundant during N-limited transition; red, transcripts of genes less abundant during N-limited transition. Arrow thickness represents fold change: narrow, 2–10-times; regular, 10–100-times; wide, >100-times. Pyruvate was not explicitly included as a central metabolite for clarity. For the Kennedy pathway, the average RPKM values of the homologs listed in Fig. 1 were summed. For the TAG lipase step, the values of the three annotated homologs (listed as RS numbers under TAG degradation) were summed.

Image credit: Amara, Characterization of key triacylglycerol biosynthesis processes in rhodococci. DOI:10.1038/srep24985.


Across the U.S. Department of Energy – from program offices to national laboratories – there is ongoing scientific research in biosynthesis and the energy of biological life aimed at identifying potential practical applications for other energy areas (i.e. biofuels). Biosynthesis itself is a multi-step process where simple compounds are modified and changed into other compounds or joined together to form larger molecules. Some of this DOE research even resulted in a Nobel Prize for Paul D. Boyer for his theory of how adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of life, is synthesized.

ATP is the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do almost everything we do on a regular basis. Biologists find ATP present in every cell, in all forms of life. Using the ATP chemical energy and combining it with compounds and enzymes, we start building macromolecules such as proteins and DNA molecules. Scientific study of biosynthesis processes at the molecular level provides insights into our biological world as a whole.

More information about biosynthesis, including DOE research reports, publications, and patents, are available in the DOE databases and related resources provided below.

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