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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2010 Dec;21(6):725-33. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2010.09.006. Epub 2010 Oct 9.

Metagenomic era for biocatalyst identification.

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Department of Applied Biocatalysis, Institute of Catalysis, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.


Microbial enzymes have many known applications as biocatalysts. However, only a few of them are currently employed for biocatalysis even though an annotated collection of more than 190 billion bases is available in metagenome sequence databases from uncultured and highly diverse microbial populations. This review aims at providing conceptual and technical bases for the translation of metagenome data into both experimental and computational frameworks that facilitates a comprehensive analysis of the biocatalysts diversity space. We will also briefly present the status of the current capabilities that assess and predict catalytic potential of environmental sites and track its diversity and evolution in large-scale biocatalysis process resulting from studies applying metagenomics in association with gene fingerprinting, catabolic arrays and complementary '-omics'.

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