Biocatalysis refers to the metabolic transformation of chemicals to produce new chemicals for industrial purposes. Biodegradation refers to the metabolic transformation of chemicals to break them down for environmental purposes. Often, the same enzymes are important in both biocatalytic and biodegradative reactions. The University of Minnesota Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database (UM-BBD) is a free web database that contains detailed information on the organisms, pathways, and enzymes involved in biocatalysis and biodegradation. The UM-BBD organizes information based on the chemical functional groups that undergo enzymatic transformations. This information is represented as rules for biotransformation. The rule base is part of a predictive system called the UM-BBD Pathway Prediction System (PPS), used to predict biodegradation pathways for chemicals that the database does not contain. The PPS gives the user plausible metabolic pathways and prioritizes the likelihood of different reactions at each step of the predicted pathway.
- Functional group