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Bridging the Gap between Analytical and Microbial Sciences in Microbiome Research.

Authors
  • Quinn, Robert A1
  • Hagiwara, Kehau A2
  • Liu, Ken3
  • Goudarzi, Maryam4
  • Pathmasiri, Wimal5
  • Sumner, Lloyd W6
  • Metz, Thomas O7
  • 1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
  • 2 Chemical Sciences Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
  • 3 Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. , (Georgia)
  • 4 Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
  • 5 Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillgrid.10698.36, Kannapolis, North Carolina, USA.
  • 6 Department of Biochemistry, Bond Life Sciences Center, MU Metabolomics Center, University of Missouri,grid.134936.a Columbia, Missouri, USA.
  • 7 Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
mSystems
Publication Date
Oct 26, 2021
Volume
6
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00585-21
PMID: 34519522
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Metabolites from the microbiome influence human, animal, and environmental health, but the diversity and functional roles of these compounds have only begun to be elucidated. Comprehensively characterizing these molecules are significant challenges, as it requires expertise in analytical methods, such as mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, skills that not many traditional microbiologists or microbial ecologists possess. This creates a gap between microbiome scientists that want to understand the role of microbial metabolites in microbiome systems and the skills required to generate and interpret complex metabolomics data sets. To bridge this gap, microbiome scientists should engage analytical chemists to best understand the underlying chemical principles of the data. Conversely, analytical scientists are encouraged to engage with microbiome scientists to better understand the biological questions being asked with metabolomics and to best communicate its intricacies. Better communication across the chemistry/biology disciplines will further reveal the "dark matter" within microbiomes that maintain healthy humans and environments.

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