Development of computational methods and tools for the mining of novel biocatalysts in metagenomes

by Christian Atallah

16:00 (40 min) in USB 2.022

Many industries, including pharmaceutical companies, have recently adopted the use of enzymes as catalysts in synthesis reactions e.g. for drug development. The development of Next Generation Sequencing techniques has made it possible to not only explore the genome of an individual organism, but of entire communities in the form of metagenomes.

These metagenomes are hotbeds of enzymatic diversity which can be exploited for the purposes of bioindustry. Given that the use of biocatalysts bears improvements in speed, cost, environmental effects etc., in the crucial development of pharmaceutical drugs, methods for the mining of metagenomes for useful enzymes would be of high impact.

However, current methods to identify interesting enzymes from metagenomes are not optimal. This makes it necessary to develop new computational methods for the mining of metagenomic data for useful and functionally diverse biocatalysts.