December 2009

Professors Lynda Ellis, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Larry Wackett, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, both MSI Associate Fellows, have co-directed the University of Minnesota Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database (UM-BBD) since 1995. The UM-BBD, hosted at MSI, contains information on microbial biodegradation pathways, primarily for environmental pollutants. The UM-BBD Pathway Prediction System (UM-PPS) predicts microbial metabolic pathways, to help scientists determine how microbes may clean up an environment contaminated with new chemical compounds. The image at left is part of a visualization of a UM-PPS prediction for the microbial degradation of 2-bromo-1,1-dichloroethane.