Feature Article in Nature on “Genomics of Cellulosic Biofuels” by Director of DOE Joint Genome Institute


The August 14 issue of Nature has an invited review, “Genomics of Cellulosic Biofuels,” by Eddy Rubin, Director of the DOE Joint Genome Institute. The article describes the enormous promise for development of new routes to cellulosic biofuels from genomic sequencing of plants (sources of biomass precursors of liquid fuels) and microbes (sources of enzymes and pathways to convert biomass to liquid fuels). Rubin lays out a path for how emerging genomic technologies will contribute to a substantially different biofuels future compared to today s corn-based ethanol industry, mitigating, in part, the food-versus-fuel debate. Rubin concludes that Genomic information gathered from across the biosphere, including potential energy crops and microorganisms able to break down biomass, will be vital for improving the prospects of significant cellulose biofuel production. This describes a key foundation of SC s Bioenergy Research Centers and the Genomics:GTL program.