Structural biology and imaging resources are key capabilities within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program’s systems biology toolbox for predictively understanding the relationships among plant and microbial genomes, structures, functions, and environmental interactions. These integrated suites of experimental and computational capabilities examine biological molecules at resolutions and scales uniquely provided at national synchrotron and neutron user facilities operated by DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES). These resources and activities are closely coordinated with other federal agencies and private organizations.
BER supports a portfolio of research technologies, methodologies, and instruments at the BES synchrotron and neutron user facilities. These resources enable experiments for studying and understanding structural and functional processes of plants and microbes important to energy and environmental research conducted by BER–funded investigators and centers.
The spatial and temporal resolutions available from neutron and photon beams enable unprecedented characterization and imaging of interactions among plants, microbes, and the environment. Measurements range from subnanometer to millimeter lengths and span time scales from femtoseconds to seconds. Capabilities to provide molecular fingerprints and mechanistic and dynamic understanding of in situ processes help advance various high-priority BER science focus areas.
The BER-funded resources described on this site seek to promote and expand collaborations between the user facilities and the BER research community. These interactions will enable and advance the necessary fundamental science to understand, predict, manipulate, and design biological processes that underpin innovations in DOE’s biological energy and environmental missions. This website serves as a portal for information on these resources and their capabilities, how to access them, and highlights scientific accomplishments achieved using these BER-supported resources.