The study of metagenomics creates a path to discovering sequences that could be the next natural insecticide or herbicide. Natural products are encoded in DNA that we can now read through high-throughput sequencing. The bottleneck is in producing the corresponding products of the DNA.
The right metagenomically-derived sequence for your project is one of the 213 million sequences in GenBank. Exploring those libraries is critical for the discovery of new and exciting enzymes and proteins. Bioinformatics can help narrow down the pool to hundreds, but diving deeper requires lab work.
Being able to produce and assay hundreds of proteins at once in high throughput downstream assays is critical for exploring these metagenomic spaces. Historically, this was done using recombinant protein expression systems, in E. coli and yeast. Heterologous expression techniques require the sequence to be cloned into the expression vector, identified, transformed, expressed and purified. Further, most labs can only produce a few proteins at a time, creating a production bottleneck. All of this takes time - often up to a month or more - and money.
Fig 1. Tierra has expressed thousands of metagenomically-derived proteins across 161 species; a phylogenetic tree showing the diversity of proteins produced.
We can help you identify the enzyme or protein from their metagenomic library to advance downstream. This breadth allows for a complete characterization of all of the genetic diversity within a library, rather than having to choose small subsets. By removing the protein expression bottleneck, with just an input of digital protein sequences, Tierra can quickly and cheaply produce hundreds of proteins in its cell-free platform within a matter of days from receipt of synthetic DNA. You can then take your protein and move directly into your downstream high-throughput screening assays.