Unicellular organisms account for a substantial fraction of global primary productivity. They represent the most evolutionarily and metabolically diverse organisms, with capacity to thrive in highly specialized environmental niches. In this Division, we apply emerging technologies to define and probe the genomes, proteomes and metabolism of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. Our research efforts emphasize genome-level interpretations, especially in the context of the environment and in relation to other species, and offer a substantial component of discovery in uncharted metabolic pathways.
Biological systems are distinguished by their high level of organization. Their composition from multiple interacting components allows them to exhibit many kinds of complex behaviors, enabling chemical transformations and synthetic processes that are often tightly regulated and/or spatially controlled for optimal performance. In this Division, we apply emerging technologies to dissect and re-engineer complex biochemical processes and structures. Our efforts aim to create advanced chemicals and novel biologically-based materials in support of DOE interests in energy, green chemistry, and bioprocessing.