IISER Bhopal researchers develop tool to predict role of bacteria in food breakdown

The tool named GutBug is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will provide information about specific bacterial enzymes and bacteria involved in digestion

IISER Bhopal researchers develop tool to predict role of bacteria in food breakdown IISER Bhopal develops AI-based tool
Rohan D Umak | Mar 30, 2023 - 3:50 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have developed a tool based on Artificial intelligence (AI). The AI-based tool seeks to predict the role of intestinal bacteria in breaking down food in the gut. The paper has been co-authored by Vineet Sharma, professor at department of biological sciences at IISER Bhopal and has been published in the journal of molecular biology. The tool is named GutBug by the authors of the research paper.

A statement from the institute said that the web-based tool provides information about the specific bacterial enzymes, reactions and the bacteria involved in the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients by the human gut.

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IISER Bhopal research contents

Research scholars said that the collection of good bacteria in the gut is called the gut microbiome, which plays a crucial role in the body processes of anything that a human consumes orally. These bacteria secrete enzymes to process what a human eats and provide the body with various metabolites that are essential for health and body functions. The researchers added that however, studying the complex host-microbial relationships is a challenge because of the vastness of the microbiome and due to the fact that the collection of bacteria varies among individuals.

"GutBug can potentially predict all the possible bacterial enzymes that act on bioactive dietary molecules as well as oral drugs".

Vineet Sharma, co-author of the paper said: "GutBug uses a combination of machine learning, neural networks and chemoinformatic methods. We used a curated database of 363,872 enzymes from human gut bacterial stains and a substrate database consisting of 3,457 enzymes to train the AI model".

"The GutBug tool can help us better understand how the food we eat or medicines we consume orally are processed by our gut bacteria and how this affects our health. Such understanding can be used in designing diets, developing new prebiotics and improving drug design depending on the nature of the gut bacteria each individual has", Sharma further said.

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