The microbiota contributes hundreds of thousands of additional genes to its host organism. This in turn has a tremendous impact on the number and diversity of metabolic reactions that can occur within the host. As the microbiota field moves from initial, descriptive studies to more functional and mechanistic analyses, metabolomics is emerging as an important enabling technology. Metabolomics is the identification and quantification of small molecules that can provide a snapshot of the functional state of a cell/tissue. Metabolites produced by the intestinal microbiota, for example, are important modulators of host physiology. As we probe deeper into the human microbiome, a core microbial population remains elusive, but metabolomics data are beginning to define a core function profile that may one day be diagnostic for homeostasis or dysbiosis.

The Integrated Metabolomics Analysis Core (IMAC) at Texas A&M University is a state-of-the-art facility that provides investigators in diverse fields, including microbiome research, with metabolomic workflows for the identification, characterization and quantitation of small molecules. The instrumentation panel at IMAC includes state-of-the-art LC-MS and GC-MS. Users will be able to discover and characterize metabolites with high resolution and accuracy using a Q Exactive Plus mass spectrometer. A TSQ Quantiva mass spectrometer and a TSQ 8000EVO gas chromatography mass spectrometer will also be available for quantitation of identified molecules.

The IMAC is co-directed by Dr. Arul Jayaraman from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Dr. Lawrence Dangott from the Protein Chemistry Laboratory (PCL). The IMAC was established through funding from the Texas A&M University Research Development Fund (RDF). The IMAC is housed in the PCL in the Biochemistry & Biophysics Building at Texas A&M. For more information on IMAC and to discuss projects, contact Jayaraman or Dangott.

Rational ID of postbiotics Metabolomics
A comprehensive metabolic meta-modeling reflecting the biochemical diversity of the microbiota can be used in conjunction with targeted metabolomics to predict the metabolic derivatives of a dietary compound, identify prebiotics, or identify biotransformation pathways, given the detection of a postbiotic.

Rational identification of diet-derived postbiotics for improving intestinal microbiota function. Klemashevich C, Wu C, Howsmon D, Alaniz RC, Lee K, Jayaraman A. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2014