Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Next Gen Sequencing
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Releasing the Untapped Biotech Potential of the Sea

Published: Friday, November 29, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, November 29, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Exploitation of marine microorganisms has been hampered by the difficulty and expense of isolating their valuable novel chemicals and molecules.

While marine microorganisms have long been identified as an untapped resource of biotechnological potential, the vast majority have until now not been properly cultivated. 

This is a wasted opportunity, and is something that the EU-funded Marine Microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for improving their Biotechnological Applications (MaCuMBA) project aims to rectify. Launched in August 2012, this four-year initiative will improve the isolation rate of marine microorganisms by using innovative new methods. 

These methods include the co-cultivation of interdependent microorganisms that mimic the natural environment. Signalling molecules produced by microorganisms will help to stimulate growth of the same or other species. In fact, these signalling molecules represent an interesting and potentially marketable product in themselves. 

The project consortium took opportunity to take stock of the progress made so far during its first General Assembly, held in Rostock, France in September. "The work carried out by the MaCuMBA project will increase the time and effort invested in getting new microbes in pure culture," says Professor Francisco Rodriguez-Valera, leader of MaCuMBA's Work Package 6 on sequencing, genomic and metagenomic libraries and meta genome analyses. 

"This kind of research is restricted by the high risk that it implies, in spite of the high gain that it provides once significant new microbes are obtained as pure cultures, so projects such as MaCuMBA are important." 

Work Package 6 uses genomics and meta-genomics in order to obtain pure cultures of individual marine microbes and to increase our understanding of their biology. "Sequencing nucleic acids is the fastest and highest yield method presently available for acquiring information about microbes," says Professor Rodriguez-Valera. "We will use these technologies to advance our knowledge of the main microbial characters that play a role in the functions of the ocean ecosystem. Learning how to use these organisms will help us to improve the sustainability of both the ocean ecosystem and the European economy through biotechnological processes." 

In sum, the project will increase the success rate in isolating marine microbes and numerous novel marine bacteria, improve cultivation efficiency of biotechnological relevant marine microorganisms and increase the production rate of new biomolecules with high added value. MaCuMBA also aims to develop culturing methods that mimic natural conditions and advance our understanding of how cell-to-cell communication could affect the isolation and cultivation efficiency of marine microorganisms. 

The MaCuMBA project is being led by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), and is a joint venture of 23 partner institutions from 11 EU countries. All partners share the common aim of uncovering the untold diversity of marine microbes using cultivation-dependent strategies. 

The project is scheduled to run until July 2016.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Research at St Thomas’s Hospital Exploring Causative Factors of Atopic Eczema and Food Allergy in Infants
Carsten Flohr and his research group at St Thomas’s hospital, London are currently investigating the interaction between skin and gut microbiota in relation to the associated risk of atopic eczema (AE) and food allergy in infants.
Gut Bacteria Can Dramatically Amplify Cancer Immunotherapy
Manipulating microbes maximizes tumor immunity in mice.
Proteins Crucial to Loss of Hearing Identified
Proteins play key role in genes that help auditory hair cells grow.
New Virus Identified In Blood Supply
Scientists have discovered a new virus that can be transmitted through the blood supply.
Far-reaching Genetic Study of 1,000 UK People
300,000 gene variants from 1,000 people made publically available via F1000Research.
DNA Alterations as Among Earliest to Occur in Lung Cancer Development
Genetic footprints of precancer detectable in some blood samples.
Targeting DNA
Protein-based sensor could detect viral infection or kill cancer cells.
Genetic Sleuthing
Sabeti team applies Ebola methods to shed light on spread of Lassa fever.
Seeking “Gold Standard” Wastewater Treatments
Metagenomic analyses lend insights into how microbes break down wastewater contaminants.
Using Genetic Sequencing to Manage Cancer in Children
A team of scientists have investigated the feasibility of incorporating clinical sequencing information into the care of young cancer patients.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos