jgi user meeting: live blogging

I’m currently at the third annual JGI Users Meeting titled Genomics of Energy and Environment. The first workshop is about IMG and when it finishes I’ll update you on anything new or interesting. A later session is on Biomass Feedstocks (for energy production), so look in this post for updates on that to. I’ll be updating every few hours.Edit (by Mary): for those of us who can’t be there at the workshop, the online tutorial is available: Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG)

The IMG workshop was good. As Mary wrote the first three talks follow those tutorials pretty closely. The last talk was on the new directions IMG is going. These include a more integrated approach in using controlled vocabularies for IMG/M and a continued emphasis on reducing computational requirements. Right now there are 8 million genes in the database, in the not to distant future that number will be 32 million. Computer requirements will rise requiring some fancy algorithm coding. IMG will be developing iMG ER, the expert system that allows community input into annotation and genome submission. You should see Mary’s post on TAIR yesterday for more about community curation. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Afternoon session:

On biomass. Eddy Rubin gives introduction. JGI focuses on study of genomes of potential biomass producing plants that would compete less with cropland and help understand genetics of crop plants better. Interesting slide on energy usage in us and sources. I believe slide is from www.eia.doe.gov I’ll have to check. This talk warrants a blog post all alone. Next week for sure.

Talk on sorghum genome. Helps in study of sugar (related), perenniality (sp?), low relative genome size. Etc. Interesting find about convergent evolution of duplicated genes. That’s another blog post!

Next talk is about micanthus as biomass plant. I’m in love with this plant for this purpose. Has bucco number of things going for it. Perennial, low fertilizer input, noknown pest or disease, marginal lands, much higher yield of fuel than corn or sugar.

Asked why Midwest not growing more instead of corn? No ethanol conversion plants in north.

This is another separate blog post.