Ute Marx manages the NMR Facility of the SRC for Functional and Applied Genomics at the IMB in Brisbane.

Research Focus

The metabonomic analysis of biofluids is one research area of the facility. Metabonomics is the study of biofluids in order to identify subtle metabolic changes related to altered phenotype. Data acquisition is carried out with NMR spectroscopy and/or mass spectrometry followed by statistical/chemometric data analysis. The measurement of NMR spectra for metabonomic analysis and the methodologies of PCA (principal component analysis) classification and PLS (partial least square) prediction for the statistical analyses of these data to identify metabolic changes are well established in the NMR Facility.

Key Projects

Within the Solar Bio Fuel Consortium we harness these techniques to identify metabolite differences between different phases of algal growth (aerobic, anaerobic, microoxic) within one strain and to compare algal strains with different H2 producing capabilities. Furthermore, we use NMR spectroscopy to monitor the metabolite flows from water and carbohydrates to hydrogen. This research will allow the identification of the metabolic pathways involved and will assist in the determination of the bottlenecks of hydrogen production. The gained knowledge will facilitate targeted metabolic engineering of H2 production by engineering critical end point and regulatory genes.