Exploring microbial diversity for biotechnology: the way forward
Environmental microbes are immensely diverse and have numerous metabolic activities and products that could have industrial applications. However, >99% of environmental microbes cannot be cultured under current laboratory conditions, leaving their potential largely untapped. Metagenomic approaches have been used successfully in recent years to obtain novel microbial products from uncultured microorganisms. The activity, efficiency and stability of these novel enzymes can be further improved by the application of nanotechnology. Here, I highlight the approaches that can be used to obtain efficient microbial products from the uncultivable majority. I propose that a multidisciplinary approach combining different technologies including metagenomics and nanotechnology is the way forward for tapping the real potential of microbial metabolism for applications in biotechnology.
Journal: - Volume 28, Issue 3, March 2010, Pages 111–116