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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Plant Gene Expression Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #395715

Research Project: Discovery of Plant Genetic Mechanisms Controlling Microbial Recruitment to the Root Microbiome

Location: Plant Gene Expression Center

Title: Plant single-cell solutions for energy and the environment

item COLE, BENJAMIN - Joint Genome Institute
item BERGMANN, DOMINIQUE - Stanford University
item BLABY-HAAS, C - Brookhaven National Laboratory
item BLABY, IAN - Joint Genome Institute
item BOUCHARD, KRISTOPHER - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
item BRADY, SIOBHAN - University Of California, Davis
item CIOBANU, DOINA - Joint Genome Institute
item Coleman-Derr, Devin
item LEIBOFF, SAM - Oregon State University
item MORTIMER, JENNY - Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI)
item NOBORI, TATSUYA - Salk Institute
item RHEE, SUE - Stanford University
item SCHMUTZ, J - Joint Genome Institute
item SIMMONS, BLAKE - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
item SINGH, ANUP - Sandia National Laboratory
item SINHA, NEELIMA - University Of California, Davis
item VOGEL, JOHN - Joint Genome Institute
item O'MALLEY, R - Joint Genome Institute
item VISEL, AXEL - Joint Genome Institute
item DICKEL, DIANE - Joint Genome Institute

Submitted to: Communications Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2021
Publication Date: 8/12/2021
Citation: Cole, B., Bergmann, D., Blaby-Haas, C., Blaby, I., Bouchard, K., Brady, S., Ciobanu, D., Coleman-Derr, D.A., Leiboff, S., Mortimer, J., Nobori, T., Rhee, S., Schmutz, J., Simmons, B., Singh, A., Sinha, N., Vogel, J., O'Malley, R., Visel, A., Dickel, D. 2021. Plant single-cell solutions for energy and the environment. Communications Biology. 4. Article 962.

Interpretive Summary: Biomass derived from the growth and harvest of plant feedstocks is a renewable and sustainable resource for the production of energy and materials. The global energy supply increasingly relies on robust and scalable bioenergy resources, which contributes to both energy security and the sustainability of energy production. Likewise, biomaterials derived from plants, algae, and microorganisms are growing in importance for a breadth of applications. Currently available plant feedstocks require substantial amounts of land, water, and mineral resources, and their associated agricultural practices have considerable environmental impacts. To develop a more sustainable bioenergy and biomaterials portfolio for the future, we must significantly advance our understanding of how feedstock crops can be improved to tolerate and thrive in a continuously changing environment.

Technical Abstract: Progress in sequencing, microfluidics, and analysis strategies has revolutionized the granularity at which multicellular organisms can be studied. In particular, single-cell transcriptomics has led to fundamental new insights into animal biology, such as the discovery of new cell types and cell type-specific disease processes. However, the application of single-cell approaches to plants, fungi, algae, or bacteria (environmental organisms) has been far more limited, largely due to the challenges posed by polysaccharide walls surrounding these species’ cells. In this perspective, we discuss opportunities afforded by single- cell technologies for energy and environmental science and grand challenges that must be tackled to apply these approaches to plants, fungi and algae. We highlight the need to develop better and more comprehensive single-cell technologies, analysis and visualization tools, and tissue preparation methods. We advocate for the creation of a centralized, open-access database to house plant single-cell data. Finally, we consider how such efforts should balance the need for deep characterization of select model species while still capturing the diversity in the plant kingdom. Investments into the development of methods, their application to relevant species, and the creation of resources to support data dissemination will enable groundbreaking insights to propel energy and environmental science forward.