BER Structural Biology and Imaging Resources
Synchrotron, Neutron, and Cryo-EM
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Overview

BER researchers use structural biology and imaging resources to advance their research goals toward improved bioenergy use and understanding biological and environmental systems, thereby strengthening the U.S. bioeconomy.

Research Themes

Molecular Structure

Cell & Tissue Structure

Chemical Elemental Information

Chemical & Elemental Information

Highlights

Phenoxy Radical-Radical Coupling in Plants

Structures of dirigent proteins (DPs) and enzymes with DP-like domains advance efforts to understand the biochemical roles DPs play in the coupling reactions leading to important plant compounds.

How Proteins Remodel DNA in Bacteria under Stress

Multiscale X-ray techniques shed light on interactions between Escherichia coli DNA and the DNA-binding protein HU, which could eventually inform strategies to control microbial behavior.

Role of Solvents in Efficient Biomass Deconstruction

Neutron scattering and molecular simulations reveal effects of tetrahydrofuran-water pretreatment on the nanoscale architecture of plant biomass.

Cell Membrane Proteins Imaged in 3D

New technique uses lanthanide-binding tags and X-ray fluorescence to image proteins in three dimensions with nanoscale resolution.

“Missing Link” in Evolutionary History of the Carbon-Fixing Protein Rubisco

Team discovers ancient form of the enzyme and uses x-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering data to study how its structure changes during different activities.

Protein Chaperones

Breakthrough Shines Light on Protein Chaperones

X-ray and cryo-electron microscopy reveal the structure of Hsp104, a fungal protein known as a chaperone, which helps the natural folding processes of proteins for proper cell function.