Microbiome EngineeringEnvironmental Biotechnology Challenge:
Engineer tools for atmospheric and environmental manipulation to mitigate climate disturbances.
Engineer aerosolizable microbiomes to facilitate cloud formation and alter sunlight irradiation or precipitation.
- Technical achievement: Engineer nutritionally self-sustaining microbiomes (i.e., with heterotrophs and autotrophs) so microbes can survive without reseeding.
- Technical achievement: Produce microbiomes with ice-nucleating bacteria that can increase rainfall and snow in target areas.
- Technical achievement: Engineer microbiomes to produce dimethyl sulfide and promote cloud condensation.
Engineer microbiomes that help maintain or increase Earth’s albedo.
- Technical achievement: Deploy ice-nucleating microbiomes to help maintain snowpack and create more reflective surfaces in alpine and polar environments.
- Technical achievement: Engineer microbiomes that concentrate salt on the surface of high-salinity soils, to increase albedo and reduce soil salinity.
Enable and advance carbon sequestration from the environment.
Use microbiomes to enhance natural carbon sequestration processes.
- Technical achievement: Develop computational models to characterize the role of viral shunts in oceanic carbon sequestration.
- Technical achievement: Design microbiomes that can be stably deployed into oceans to increase carbon capture via viral shunts.
- Technical achievement: Engineer methanogen-containing microbiomes to produce methane hydrates (i.e., crystalline methane structures) as means of sequestering carbon in the deep ocean.
- Technical achievement: Use ice-nucleating microbiomes to help preserve permafrost and prevent carbon release.
- Technical achievement: Create pollutant-degrading microbiomes that colonize wetland plants to prevent pollution-related wetland degradation and support carbon sequestration.
Engineer plant rhizosphere communities to promote carbon capture via plant root exudates.
- Technical achievement: Increase carbon capture phenotypes of plants through overexpression of root exudate compounds.
- Technical achievement: Engineer rhizosphere communities to convert root exudates into stable complexes.
Last updated: October 1, 2020 Back