Insights into the role metabolomics and proteomics in bioprocess optimization and environmental remediation


Ijoma GN

Progress and industrialization in modern times has come with a myriad of associated problems. Two major problems accompanying most industrial processes is finding approaches that guarantees sustainability (both for the raw materials requirements and the actual process work flow) and dealing with the inevitable waste generated as a consequence thereof. Therefore, where possible scientists and technologists develop biological processes involving the use of biocatalysis to replace high energy coupled reactions that may have been the initial method of production of end products. These bio-catalytic processes often involve the exploitation of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi). As such our understanding of metabolic pathways, transformation, degradation, intermediate and end-product generation as well as consortia interaction common to most microbial biochemical reactions will provide credible insights towards synthesis of end products in scale-up or even allow for optimization of existing bioprocesses to maximize derived products. The application of these two key components of the ‘omics field – metabolomics and proteomics is pivotal towards the improvements of bioprocess and environmental bioremediation strategies. Although advances have been made in the field of medical biochemistry and medicine in relation to the ‘omics field; the same cannot be stated for industrial bioprocesses and environmental bioremediation. These two areas of endeavor exploit microbial processes, however, work in this field has focused more on taxonomic identification of consortia interactions without much done in terms of functional genomics that otherwise would have incorporated metabolomics and proteomics.