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Bacterial:Fungal Interactions

Acquisition of a predictive understanding of complex bacterial:fungal interactions in the context of continued environmental change

 

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The DOE’s priorities in developing renewable energy sources, understanding possible effects of Earth system change, and Biological Systems Science Division’s focus on understanding the fundamental nature of biological processes relevant to energy and environmental challenges, ultimately depend on understanding Bacterial:Fungal Interactions.
In soil microbiomes, bacteria and fungi are the dominant players with key roles in carbon flux, nutrient cycling, and plant productivity. To harness the biotechnological potential of soil microbiomes at the scale of steering ecosystem functioning, this LANL SFA program in Soil Microbiome Research aims to discover fundamental principles underlying Bacterial:Fungal Interactions. Our ten-year program vision is to gain a predictive understanding of complex bacterial:fungal interactions in the context of continued environmental change, to allow intentional steering of ecosystem functions for improved crop production for sustainable energy generation, and improved Earth system change via modulation of carbon sequestration in soils.
In this SFA, we will use novel bioinformatics algorithms with DOE advanced scientific computing capabilities, coupled with targeted metagenomics to identify previously uncharacterized bacterial:fungal associations. We will determine the range of
bacterial:fungal interactions in the context of abiotic environmental change (i.e. moisture, nutrient availability, temperature), and characterize the underlying mechanisms of these interactions at the cell-cell and molecular scales using multi-omics interrogation coupled with advanced in situ imaging techniques. Through these studies, we will gain a predictive understanding of these dynamic interactions and how they may be regulated to steer the function of soil ecosystems.