UC Davis

Resarch Areas

Molecular and Cellular Chemistry, Biology, and Genetics

Goal: To identify key metabolic and developmental processes that can be utilized for enhancing plant and microbe efficiency for the production of bioenergy.

Description: The potential usefulness of plants and microbes for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts depends on the specific metabolic processes encoded in the organisms' genes and their efficiency in carrying out encoded processes. BERG will seek to understand, at the genetic and biochemical levels, how plants and microbes utilize assimilated carbon to make oils, starch, cellulose and other cell wall polysaccharides, and lignin. Processes of lignocellulose disassembly will also be studied because efficient conversion of cell wall polymers to simpler molecules (sugars and phenolics) is a key to lignocellulose utilization in energy production. Biological processes depend on chemical reactions at the molecular scale and their integration and control in systems within cells. This focus group studies fundamental mechanisms at the cellular and molecular level in order to select and optimize organisms for bioenergy production. The understanding and optimization of photosynthetic pathways (in plant systems) and microbial pathways (in microbial systems) are major goals. Understanding enzymes and their function is needed to optimize an organism's metabolism. Genomics and related technologies provide pathways to optimizing organisms for specific purposes. Understanding cellular processes and their chemical control can lead to more efficient growth and/or properties of desired organisms.


Joint BioEnergy Institute


David Nealedbneale@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Pam Ronaldpcronald@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Bo Liubliu@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Kentaro Inouekinoue@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Ravi Baraboterdbarabote@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Dewey Ryuddyryu@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Karen McDonaldkamcdonald@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Linda Bissonlfbisson@ucdavis.eduWebsite
J Clark Lagariasjclagarias@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Oliver Fiehnofiehn@ucdavis.eduWebsite
Mark Mascalmascal@chem.ucdavis.eduWebsite