B-IOME Science and Capabilities

Microorganisms can be used to help manufacture sustainable products and decarbonize the economy. A new bioeconomy could reduce waste and reduce the use of fossil fuels. B-IOME scientists are developing synthetic biology tools and approaches to improve microbial strains for biomanufacturing.

  • High-throughput screening can assess thousands of strains and identify new promising strain variants.
  • Our biosensors can identify
    • Improved enzyme productivity
    • New genes based on cell output
    • New transporter sequences

Los Alamos partners with other national laboratories in the Agile BioFoundry to achieve many of these biomanufacturing goals

Learn more about some of our work in biomanufacturing:

B-IOME scientists are using their expertise and biosensor technologies to help improve environmental restoration and recovery.

Los Alamos is a partner institution in the DOE BOTTLE consortium, aimed at bio-based solutions to keep plastics out of the environment.

Microbes and plants are everywhere and play critical roles in elemental flux in the atmosphere and on Earth (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc). These organisms influence climate, ecosystems, and agriculture as well as human, animal, and crop health.

B-IOME scientists are advancing knowledge of microbes and plants and creating climate solutions through their work on:

  • Soil carbon cycling
  • Nutrient/drought management
  • Growth promoting molecules and microorganisms
  • Terrestrial ecology
  • Algae biology

For many years, scientists at Los Alamos have been investigating the role of soil microorganisms in carbon cycling and carbon management, as well as the rhizosphere microbial interactions that influence plant resilience and productivity, through the Terrestrial Microbial Carbon Cycling and Bacterial-Fungal Interactions DOE Science Focus Areas and their predecessor programs.

Learn more about why microbes matter

Los Alamos tools that support these efforts include:

  • 96-well plate and custom flask photobioreactors (PBRs)
  • Laboratory ecosystems  (e.g. environmental photobioreactors, synthetic soil mesocosms, EcoFabs)
  • Experimental photosynthetic systems such as corn, camelina, non-model microalgae
  • Algae ‘omics
  • Integrative meta ‘omics (metagenome, metatranscriptome, metaproteome, metabolome)
  • Single cell to biome investigations
  • Fluorescence and live microscopic imaging
  • Testbed/field and techno-economic analysis (TEA) partnerships

Los Alamos is a partner institution in the DOE DISCOVR consortium, which aims to improve the sustainability of algae-based fuels and products.

B-IOME scientists are partnering on multiple projects to help humans tread more lightly on our planet by increasing sustainable practices on many levels. Increased focus on regional and local communities helps tailor solutions that are most effective for each location, including remote ones.

Los Alamos is developing decision tools such as:

  • Waste-carbon Economic and Climate Action Tool (WECAT)
  • Biomanufacturing Deployed Operations Guide (BioDOG)

B-IOME scientists are contributing to the Intermountain West Energy Sustainability & Transitions (I-WEST) initiative

  • A placed-based approach for carbon negative future that incorporates:
    • Natural resources
    • Tribal partners
    • Bioenergy
  • Microbial and fungal sciences
  • Plant and soil sciences
  • Environmental simulation
  • High-throughput screening
  • Synthetic biology
  • ‘Omics data and analysis
  • Modeling and decision support
  • Structural biology