Within [plant] microcosms are answers to long-standing and large-scale questions, such as how organisms across the planet are responding to climate change, how nutrients cycle through the food chain, and how we humans can engineer productive and drought-resistant crops. So, Berkeley Lab created a unique platform that can be used to study all aspects of these miniature environments with unprecedented precision and control.

Project Scientist Lauren Lui is using the latest bioinformatics technology to study the genes of these immensely bountiful and diverse microbes so we can learn how they shape the environment — and how we could harness them for agriculture, medicine, and more.