Alan and Jeff attended the Department of Energy Genomics Program Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA from February 5-8th, 2017. The meeting included labs currently funded by the DOE Office for Biological and Environmental Research, with projects ranging from understanding the mechanisms of soil carbon sequestration to manipulating lignin composition in biofuel feedstocks. Alan presented a poster on the Fall 2016 greenhouse project investigating switchgrass growth responses to nitrogen availability and soil microbes while Jeff presented on the contribution of alternative nitrogenase enzymes to N-fixation.
In the lab, Alan is receiving training to analyze chemical mixtures using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and plans to analyze the composition of switchgrass root exudates in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Colleen has successfully been able to figure out how to perform dual DNA/RNA extractions from soil using a PowerSoil kit. Way to go Friesen Lab!