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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(7), 3929-3952; doi:10.3390/md12073929

Marine Microorganism-Invertebrate Assemblages: Perspectives to Solve the “Supply Problem” in the Initial Steps of Drug Discovery

1
Departamento de Biologia & CESAM, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
2
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, USA
3
Biology of Marine Organisms and Biomimetics Laboratory, Research Institute for Biosciences, University of Mons, Pentagone 2B, 6 Avenue du Champ de Mars, Mons 7000, Belgium
4
Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
5
Porifarma BV, Poelbos 3, 6718 HT Ede, The Netherlands
6
Laboratório Marítimo da Guia, Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Nossa Senhora do Cabo, 939, Cascais 2750-374, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and New Perspectives in Marine Biotechnology)
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Abstract

The chemical diversity associated with marine natural products (MNP) is unanimously acknowledged as the “blue gold” in the urgent quest for new drugs. Consequently, a significant increase in the discovery of MNP published in the literature has been observed in the past decades, particularly from marine invertebrates. However, it remains unclear whether target metabolites originate from the marine invertebrates themselves or from their microbial symbionts. This issue underlines critical challenges associated with the lack of biomass required to supply the early stages of the drug discovery pipeline. The present review discusses potential solutions for such challenges, with particular emphasis on innovative approaches to culture invertebrate holobionts (microorganism-invertebrate assemblages) through in toto aquaculture, together with methods for the discovery and initial production of bioactive compounds from these microbial symbionts. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine natural products; aquaculture; microbial symbionts; marine invertebrates; pharmaceuticals marine natural products; aquaculture; microbial symbionts; marine invertebrates; pharmaceuticals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Leal, M.C.; Sheridan, C.; Osinga, R.; Dionísio, G.; Rocha, R.J.M.; Silva, B.; Rosa, R.; Calado, R. Marine Microorganism-Invertebrate Assemblages: Perspectives to Solve the “Supply Problem” in the Initial Steps of Drug Discovery. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 3929-3952.

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