Optimising metagenomic bioprospecting in microbiomes for novel enzymes and proteins

Red soil sparsely covered in plants, predominatley by a small white and yellow flowering daisy.

Soil microorganisms are a rich source of enzymes, that could lead to the development of novel compounds. Credit: Dick Knight, Flickr, CC.

Microorganisms are a rich source of enzymes that can play a vital role in delivering sustainable industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications. However, traditional microbiological methods limit analysis and discovery of such compounds to organisms that can be grown in the laboratory (a small fraction of microbial communities).

In this project we will employ long read DNA sequencing and novel bioinformatic approaches to reveal the near complete functional richness of soil microbiome communities. We expect these detailed insights into community function will provide a rich opportunity for bioprospecting novel compounds.

Lead: Tom Walsh