Duckweed, a useful plant:|
'These plants produce biomass faster than any other flowering plant, and their carbohydrate content is readily converted to fermentable sugars by using commercially available enzymes developed for corn-based ethanol production,' said Rubin. 'Moreover, duckweed relates to all three of DOE JGI's mission areas: bioenergy, bioremediation, and global carbon cycling.' Propagated on agricultural and municipal wastewater, Spirodela species efficiently extract excess nitrogen and phosphate pollutants. Duckweed growth on ponds effectively reduces algal growth (by shading), coliform bacteria counts, suspended solids, evaporation, biological oxygen demand, and mosquito larvae while maintaining pH, concentrating heavy metals, sequestering or degrading halogenated organic and phenolic compounds, and encouraging the growth of aquatic animals such as frogs and fowl. This project, submitted by Todd Michael of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, unites the efforts of six institutions. The DOE JGI has selected several metagenomes to sequence—complex microbial communities that are isolated directly from the environment or reside inside of a larger organism. These leverage DOE JGI's pioneering expertise honed from previous studies of acid mine drainage and the termite hindgut—where samples yielded scores of different microbes, producing hundreds of enzymes with potentially useful industrial applications.
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