Bryon Donohoe

Bryon Donohoe

Research Scientist

Photo of Bryon Donohoe
(303) 384-7773
At NREL Since: 

Bryon Donohoe applies his background in structural biology and plant cell biology to study the underpinnings of biomass recalcitrance. In particular, he has turned several years of studying the cellular mechanisms involved in plant cell wall assembly toward now understanding the biological disassembly of plant cell walls in biomass. Dr. Donohoe is a key user and mentor of the Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory—a collection of imaging technologies including laser scanning confocal microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy—used to better understand structural changes during biomass conversion. In particular, he is expert at biomass sample preparation including cryopreservation, immuno-EM, and using electron tomography as a technique to study the complex 3-D structure of the cell wall at the molecular scale. Dr. Donohoe is also involved in efforts to understand microbial interactions with biomass and the structure of environmental microbial communities.

Research Interests 

  • Member of: Microscopy Society of America
  • Member of: American Society of Plant Biologists


  • Ph.D., Molecular/Cellular Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder

  • M.A., Biology, University of Colorado at Denver

  • B.S., Biological Science, Colorado State University

Selected Publications 

  1. Donohoe, B. S., Decker, S. R., M. P. Tucker, M. E. Himmel, and T. B. Vinzant (2008). "Visualizing Lignin Coalescence and Migration Through Maize Cell Walls Following Thermochemical Pretreatment." Biotechnol. Bioeng. (101); pp. 913-925. Accessed July 23, 2012:
  2. Ahrenkiel, S.P.; Yu, P.; Murphy, J.E.; Nedeljkovic, J.M.; Donohoe, B.S. (2008). "Nanoparticle shape and configuration analysis by transmission electron tomography." Journal of Microscopy (in press)
  3. Donohoe, B.S.; Kang, B.H.; Gerl, M.; Gergely, Z.; Staehelin, L.A. (2008). "Electron tomographic characterization of cis Golgi cisternal assembly in Scherffelia dubia, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and higher plants." Current Biology, (in press)
  4. Porter, S.E.; Donohoe, B.S.; Beery, K.E.; Xu, Q.; Ding, S.-Y.; Vinzant, T.B.; Abbas, C.A.; Himmel, M.E. (2007). "Microscopic analysis of corn fiber using starch- and cellulose-specific molecular probes." Biotechnology & Bioengineering (98); pp. 123-131.
  5. Donohoe, B.S.; Kang, B.H.; Staehelin, L.A. (2006). "Identification and characterization of COPIa- and COPIb-type vesicle classes associated with plant and algal Golg." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS); pp. 163-168.
  6. Donohoe, B.S.; Mogelsvang, S.; Staehelin, L.A. (2006). "Electron tomography of ER, Golgi and related membrane systems." Methods (39); pp. 154-162.

NREL Publications 

View NREL Publications for this staff member.