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Metagenomic approaches to exploit the biotechnological potential of the microbial consortia of marine sponges

Kennedy, Jonathan, Marchesi, Julian Roberto and Dobson, Alan D. W. 2007. Metagenomic approaches to exploit the biotechnological potential of the microbial consortia of marine sponges. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 75 (1) , pp. 11-20. 10.1007/s00253-007-0875-2

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Natural products isolated from sponges are an important source of new biologically active compounds. However, the development of these compounds into drugs has been held back by the difficulties in achieving a sustainable supply of these often-complex molecules for pre-clinical and clinical development. Increasing evidence implicates microbial symbionts as the source of many of these biologically active compounds, but the vast majority of the sponge microbial community remain uncultured. Metagenomics offers a biotechnological solution to this supply problem. Metagenomes of sponge microbial communities have been shown to contain genes and gene clusters typical for the biosynthesis of biologically active natural products. Heterologous expression approaches have also led to the isolation of secondary metabolism gene clusters from uncultured microbial symbionts of marine invertebrates and from soil metagenomic libraries. Combining a metagenomic approach with heterologous expression holds much promise for the sustainable exploitation of the chemical diversity present in the sponge microbial community.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Metagenomics; Marine sponges; Natural products
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0175-7598
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:36

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